Fekadu Mekasha Artist Review


In the mid 1950s in the United Kingdom and United States the art movement of Pop Art emerged. Pop Art challenged the traditions of Fine Art and included imagery from popular culture. The focus of popular culture was to add voice to those who existed outside of the elitist culture of art. Emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of mass culture included advertising, comic books, and mundane mass-produced objects with irony. Pop Art often takes imagery that it’s currently used in advertising and transforms it into works of art. Artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol crafted the Pop Art Movement to add significance to the elements of life so often passed by without thought. 
Campbell’s Soup Cans 1961 Andy Warhol
Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1961
Andy Warhol
In modern times unconventional mediums used in the artistic process captivate a questioning audience, asking themselves “How?”. Different mediums open up a host of possibilities so today’s artists can create beyond the classical traditions. Recycled art is made entirely from recycled materials such as plastic bags and trash that is found and repurposed to become works of art. There is also artwork done with food and beverage from coffee to jell-o. Environmental artwork leads to designs carved into sand or built with stone that are placed in nature to be slowly broken down back to their original place. New and unconventional mediums challenge even the most practiced artists to push the limits of art and their own abilities.


Paradigm II Found Aluminum Cans, 2012 Paul Villinski  

Paradigm II, Found Aluminum Cans, 2012
Paul Villinski

Andy Warhol portrait by Fekadu Mekasha
Fekadu Mekasha pushed to find new and unexpected ways to create his photo realistic portraits. From his background and professional knowledge of welding Fekadu uses stainless steel wire to sculpt his compositions. Like many of the Pop Artists before him, Fekadu’s subject matter often focuses on celebrity and fame. Celebrities can often feel like mythical creatures, and capturing them in portrait is a reflection of the attachment we can feel to people who we have never met, yet inspire us. Fekadu’s revolutionary mastery of his unconventional medium makes his work identifiably his in their uniqueness and ingenuity. 


Principals of Art:

Space: Space is demonstrated to create dimension in the composition. Strong contrast between the negative surrounding space and the positive space of the portraits add emphasis to the celebrity. Often times most of the composition will be filled with the portrait, as you can see in Andy Warhol.

Color: Working in black and white adds definition and heightened drama in Fekadu’s sculptures. As the black wire mesh is layered, it becomes darker and darker creating deeper value changes and depth as it sits against the white matte board it is mounted on.  

Shape: The shapes used by Fekadu are all hyper realistic and organic in nature, true to the subject matter portrayed. In Andy Warhol circular shapes of the glasses contrast against the aged face.

Form: Circle is to shape as sphere is to form. The extreme changes in value gives life to Fekadu’s portraits. The creases and wrinkles of the face, the texture in the hair, the reflection of the glasses all give life to the form.

Value: Value relates to the tint/shade of a hue (color). Every color can be tinted by adding white or shaded by adding black. The purpose of considering value in a painting is to help create both dimension and a mood to a painting. As noted, deep value changes add a dramatic flare to Fekadu’s sculptures. The changes in value comes from the layering of the mesh wire, the more layers the darker the value will become.

Texture: The wire mesh used to sculpt Fekadu’s portraits are naturally textured. As the viewer walks around Fekadu’s work, they will notice how the texture creates dimension and more visual interest.

Line: At the very foundations of the medium is the crossed line work of the wire mesh. The hatched line use creates a sense of movement as it is a contently changing direction. This subtle manipulation of the eye is meant only to be subconsciously noted from the viewer.
Porsche 911 wire mesh Fekadu Mekasha


Principals of Design:

Balance: Fekadu balances his compositions by occupying almost the entirety of the composition with the portraits themselves. Faces are balanced due to them being naturally semi symmetrical.

Unity: The unity of a piece is what creates a sense of completeness. The medium unifies Fekadu’s work not just individually, but throughout his entire body of work. Working with one sole medium makes the entire composition cohesive. 

Variety: Variety is what adds interest into a work of art. The changes in value create visual variety in Fekadu’s work due to their layering and overlapping.

Emphasis: Emphasis is what the artist uses to create a focal point. Focal points can vary viewer to viewer, but a truly successful composition will have one clear focal point that the eye is continually drawn to over and over again. The clear emphasis in Fekadu’s work is the portrait that takes up almost the entirety of the composition. As the viewer’s eye wanders, it will find its favorite portions of the portraits and rest there to be enjoyed.

Movement: Movement implies motion is a snapshot of time. The texture of the wire mesh and its changing layers creates a very subtle idea of movement. This is meant serve as a subconscious acknowledgment and not distract from the portrait.

Pattern: Think of pattern as the visual skeleton that organizes the parts of a composition. This underlying structure uses consistent and regular repetition. You can have both natural and man made pattern. The underlying pattern of the layered mesh is the only pattern use to be found in Fekadu’s sculptures.

Perspective: Perspective is what’s creates a three dimensional work of art vs a two dimensional work of art. The layering of the mesh creates actual dimension in Fekadu’s sculptures which provides new perspectives as the viewer walks around the piece. These new perspectives can make the sculpture feel as if it is watching you and interacting with the viewer.


Fekadu uses stainless steel wire mesh that is cut, layered, welded and sculpted onto of a white matte board. The wire mesh is layered, which allows light to pass through and catch the wire mesmerizingly. To create deep shadows the wire mesh is layered continuously to achieve deep blacks that contrast against the areas with little layering of wire. These overlapping layers of wire mesh shift as the viewer walks around the piece, providing an interactive quality to his sculptures. His unconventional medium use characterizes Fekadu’s artwork and captures every viewer’s imagination for what is possible.