The hustle and bustle of Merkato, Ethiopia’s largest market found in its capital city of Addis Ababa, is the dominant theme of artist Fasil Assefa Beyene's paintings. His work is a vibrant manifestation of Ethiopian pop art. Anyone who has ever visited Merkato or ever been to Addis Ababa will enjoy an amused chuckle from Fasil's artistic definition of the urban mania that is peculiar to Merkato. He captures the miraculously functioning market in all its chaotic glory - street vendors settled on their spots, patrons bartering, taxis, buses, traffic collusions, policemen intervening to settle disputes; people weaving in and out of the shops and through cars to create the fabric and essence of his art - his subjects alive with their wide almond-shaped eyes mimicking the eyes in ancient Ethiopian iconography. His work is a tongue-in-cheek conversation of not only Markato, but the market and transportation hustle and vibrancy of Addis Ababa - the capital city of Ethiopia - a city undergoing glorious growing pains.
Born in 1984 in Addis Ababa - near Markato, Fasil graduated from Master Fine Art and Vocational Training Center in 2002 in drawing and painting; he then went on to study in the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and design from 2005-2007; after which he majored in painting at Entoto Technical and vocational Training College of Fine Art (2008-2011). Throughout the years, Fasil has shown his art in numerous exhibitions.
Fasil has been recognized as an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Foundation, and Inter Religious and International Federation for World Peace. He is now a full-time studio Artist.