headshot sofia kifleAbout the Artist

My artistic interest dates back to my childhood. One random day, I went to my uncle’s studio and watched him paint a portrait. I was mesmerized. Growing up in my native Ethiopia, my childhood active imagination was always moved by the ragged lines, the warm colors, the expressive eyes and by ancient religious paintings in the churches. In 1982, during the height of Ethiopia’s political turbulence, I migrated to the United States to escape oppression by the military socialist regime then in power. Upon coming to the United States, I decided to pursue a career in the arts, and enrolled in the Theater and Arts Management program at Mary Baldwin University. After graduation, I immersed in many disciplines within the creative world. My true calling, I realized, was the visual art. In 1995, I had my first solo exhibition inspired by America’s original art form Jazz. In May 2000, I completed the Masters in Fine Art program at Howard University.



When I paint

Suspended like an amusing prophecy

Music expanding and contracting

in my mind’s eye

A never-ending imaginary quilt

Concocting a presence.

So many experiences become layers

My senses primal chaos within

Something budding always

Something beautiful and balanced

A portrait of my subconscious resides.


When I paint

Sensibility luring asymmetrical impressions

pieces of surfaces and charming colors

lines, textures and forms

patches of ideas, concepts,

inspirations, influences, and cultures infused.

The elements of harmony gather

dreams and suspended moments of imagination.


When I paint

This dream rhythmic voice emerging

as visual force at an interval.

It is striding, swinging and waltzing

affirm and validate the movement

One’s being begins with chaos and harmony in the horizon.

The image shifting and shuffling waiting to be created, transformed,

altered or recreated at moment’s notice.

Asymmetrical and primal method declaring

stitching and resolving the painting.



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