Edi Rama was born in Tirana (Albania) in 1964. He lives and works in Tirana.
Edi Rama is a former art professor who did not fully abandon his initial career as an artist once he entered in the public life of his country, first as a Minister of Culture, then as the mayor of Tirana for 11 years and finally from 2014 as the Prime Minister of Albania. Rama’s art practice has developed in parallel with his career as a politician. Drawing and sculpture are the two main and preferred techniques used by the artist during his development. His drawings are colourful, tightly wound abstractions, with tendrils of colour spiralling out from bursting cores. While sitting in telephone conferences or meetings, he is constantly and ‘automatically’ sketching countless drawings in his notebook, on office papers, documents, faxes and other official correspondence.
His drawings have matured over time, growing from casual doodles into thorough compositions. To look at these drawings as if they were simple improvisations would be limiting: for the artist they represent the best way to focus on what is happening around him, to listen and to process decisions to be made. In fact his drawing is the opposite of absentmindedness – it is the embodiment of present-mindedness. The drawings, with their seething colours and winding curves, do not illustrate, or even abstract, the rough and tumble of politics. Instead, they reassert the individuality of a man whose job is to represent others. Alongside drawing, sculpture has strongly entered Edi Rama’s art practice. Created in his free time at weekends in his studio, Rama’s undulating sculptural works translate his explosive drawings into three dimensions. Presented on custom plinths that follow the outline of the sculpture, Rama’s abstract automatic reflections take on an architectural dimension.