#017 - Louis Reith

100 EUR

3 colour, hand pulled, screen print.
Signed and numbered by the artist.
50 x 70 cm, frame not included.

A little word from Louis
“Being a faranji (foreigner) and therefore constantly being the center of attention in the streets, things were quite hectic in the beginning. Not necessarily in a negative way – I had nice conversations with locals and even discovered some great shops – but it was definitely something I had to cope with. During the Ethiopian New Years Eve I came across a bull being slaughtered in the streets. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the blood flowing down the street. It was quite a scene to see three men stripping the skin while a couple of kids held its legs.

I’m a huge fan of roots reggae music. I’m obsessed with it and one might think my trip to Addis was also for spiritual reasons, but actually I’m an agnostic atheist at heart. Still, on our way down from Mount Entoto there was a moment where a sudden feeling of pure happiness overtook me. Tears of joy streamed down my face. It might be the lack of sleep the night before, the exhausting hours of climbing the mountain, the great company of Nick, Jiyo and Fana and the fact that I’m a sensitive person in general. But it seriously felt as if The Most High Jah Rastafari embraced me for a moment.

While in Addis I deliberately searched for images and graphic elements, not just for inspiration but already with the idea to incorporate them within the print. For example the man entering the doorway is an image from an old book cover. I also found an Amharic / English book with short biographies of some well-known Ethiopian artists which gave me the opportunity to use Amharic text as a sort of secret message (which is a key element in my artworks). Even the No symbol is scanned from a so-called short distance single trip ticket, which I found on the street. Besides working with found footage I also knew the colours I wanted to work with. And though it’s quite obvious to use green, gold and red I’m happy with the vibe that the colours portray.”