Born in St. Catherine, Jamaica to a family of artists and builders. Abba Yahudah vowed early in life to devote himself totally to art making everything he did a creative exercise. By age ten, he developed a very detailed eye, showing remarkable skill with the pencil and could draw and render the identical likeness of anything he saw. “I seriously took up painting at about age thirteen, some watercolor, but mostly oils. Supplies were expensive so we explored many other cost free creative outlets, such as pottery, carving and writing.”
Abba Yahudah migrated to the United States in 1981 and took his first job as a sign painter, which intimately exposed him to typography and layout. He later explored and experimented with offset and screen printing techniques. During his high school years, his art teachers recognized his talent and entered him in numerous poster contests, of which he consistently took the first place awards. Several pieces of his work were published in local and national media such as Sights & Sounds, The Apprentice Writer and Student Voice. While living in New York in 1985, he attended Parson’s School of Design, majoring in graphic design and layout. A year later, he enrolled in The School of Visual Arts, majoring in design and illustration. 1987 found him working as an art director/graphic designer for one of the larger design firms in Manhattan, NY, designing and illustrating for such companies as: Sony, Sharp, Revlon, Maxwell House, and Pepsi, to name a few. In 1996, he opened the first Rastafarian gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn, named Lalibela, after the monolithic churches of Ethiopia’s New Jerusalem.
His art has traveled internationally to Ethiopia exhibiting at the Habesha and Lela Art Galleries, to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., as well as many galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area.