15 Vibrant Hand Painted Storefronts In Somalia

Being victims of war, terrorist attacks, and poverty, businesses and shopowners in Somalia cannot afford lavish storefront signs – but the artists of the country have found a way to bring in business for these stores while creating revenue for themselves.

Walk down the streets of any major city in Somalia and you will find vibrant hand-painted storefronts. Popping with eye-catching colors, the depictions shout out the contents of the interior. Grocery store walls are covered in a hodgepodge of food and beverages that fill the entirety of the space, while a dentist’s office is outfitted with murals of open mouths in various shapes to display a set of pristine white teeth.

Artists across Somalia make a living by creating vibrant hand-painted storefronts for local businesses

Image credits: Feisal Omar

The artistic trend of hand-painted storefronts rose to popularity during the 1990s when Somalia was in the throes of civil war, following the collapse of the country’s military dictatorship in 1991. Struggling artists who could no longer find people to buy their paintings offered their services to local businesses.

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Muawiye Hussein Sidow is one of these painters who has made a name for himself – decorating over 100 different stores

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Muawiye Hussein Sidow, also known as ‘Shik Shik’, is one of the premier muralists in Mogadishu and has been painting storefronts since 1998. His artworks are featured on more than 100 shops and supermarkets across Mogadishu – and he hopes to expand to neighboring countries one day.

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Sidow’s artwork earns him enough to feed his wife, three kids, and even help his father who is a former artist himself and taught Sidow how to paint. To give back to his community, he teaches others how to paint so they too have a way to earn a living in a country with few opportunities.

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

The 31-year-old painter creates works that usually involve bright pops of color. Some of his pieces stretch over several meters. Sidow told Reuters he never duplicates murals and that his inspiration comes from Somalian daily life.

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Image credits: Feisal Omar

Source: boredpanda.com

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