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Francesco Dragone

Shared Visions

Piet van Peter e Zeradawit Welda Rufael are two painters, they both produce paintings that are similar yet different: similar because the two artists start from the same visual directive, but different because each of them interprets the initial idea according to his cultural context of origin. Piet is an American eccentric ex photographer who moved in 2006 from California to Amsterdam (The Netherlands), he defines himself as a “cartoon surrealist”, he loves travelling and getting in touch with other cultures. He uses art as an instrument to play and share as a way of communicating in diverse cultural contexts. Zeradawit is a traditional Ethiopian painter originally from Aksum, who moved to Addis Ababa and there learned to paint as a self-taught artist. He uses art as a medium of communication to spread the messages that compose the Holy Bible.

The two protagonists live respectively in the Netherlands and in Ethiopia but at the same time they are working together from several years influencing each other in their artistic practice. Fueled by their will to learn from each other, Piet and Zeradawit, meet each other several times during the year in Addis Ababa. They contaminate their style, influencing each other with diverse visual clues, they are copying from each other taking the good side of their differences and using their diverse cultural backgrounds as the strong point of their collaboration. Their relationship is characterized by misunderstandings, moments of tension and renegotiation of the meaning of what they are doing together; as well as by numerous moments of harmony and sharing that the artistic duo manage to create. The artists’ ambitious idea is to build a common vision, which enable them to overcome the linguistic barriers or diverse philosophical or religious conception of life and the very concept of what art is.