KYALO’S RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION at Red Hill Gallery & Elaine’s at Que Pasa! Young artist showcases retrospective art in city//// By Margaretta wa Gacheru/// Posted Thursday, June 20 2013 at Business Daily/// In Summary: Kyalo’s artistic energies have been appreciated widely such that his paintings hang on walls all over Nairobi and in the UK, the US, Zimbabwe and Cameroon./// KYALO JUSTUS showcases retrospective art AT RED HILL GALLERY/// There was a new wave of artistic energy that gripped Nairobi in the early 1990s, especially in the field of visual arts and Justus Kyalo was one of its forerunners. Kyalo’s initial training was from the popular comic books and magazines by Marvel. He later joined the Creative Art Centre, one of the institutions partly responsible for generating some of that ‘new wave’ energy of the 90s. Today, he has qualified to have a retrospective exhibition of his art. Most retrospectives are held by old men (or women), which Kyalo is not! He started drawing, painting and illustrating educational comic books for CARE Kenya, an international not for profit organization, straight out of secondary school, having found his ‘mentors’ in Joe Magazine and Picha Hadithi, both the products of Terry Hirst’s fertile imagination. At CARE, he crafted Pied Crow until 1994 when he shifted to the short-lived Yakini Art Gallery. It was at Yakini that Kyalo held his first solo show which featured the first of his Womanscape series. Then he was still doing figurative drawing, inspired by the world of global fashion, but his style has shifted over the years as shown in his retrospective show. It’s shifted depending on his personal preference and passion both for contemporary dance and popular music. One of the first major shifts is a move towards fluidity and flow in his brush strokes as he got further into dance, but then his passion for music influenced him. “That was when I got into the abstract phase of my painting. It had to do with my wanting to express the feelings I got from the music,” said Kyalo who met Hellmuth Rossler, curator of Red Hill Gallery. He is the first Kenyan artist to exhibit at Hellmuth and Erica Rossler-Musch’s new gallery. His art is also part of the Rossler’s private collection. In fact, Kyalo’s artistic energies have been appreciated widely such that his paintings hang on walls all over Nairobiand in the UK, the US, Zimbabwe and Cameroon. His most recent works, which feature in the Red Hill show, were painted while he was in Lamu where he attended the Lamu Painters Festival. Kyalo is exhibiting at the Red Hill Gallery until the end of August. Viewings is by appointment over the weekends.///// There is a lot of contemporary art nowadays been shown in different restaurants across the city such as Le Rustique where Mikko Ijas, Andries Fourie and Nicky Marais have an ongoing show titled Synthesis: Remixing Locality until June 26th. The Talisman, in Karen, is featuring paintings by the Kuona Trust artist Ermias Ekube while neighboring Que Pasa is showcasing Elaine Kehew’s Horses series. Kehew has been in Kenya for the past six years and in that time, the qualified lawyer-turned-painter has held various exhibitions across the city with the most memorable being in Sevens restaurant, at ABC Place. Her show there was focused on Dhows and every one of her paintings sold. “I’ve been busy ever since, filling commissions and preparing for this [Que Pasa] show,” said the diminutive artist and mother of two on the opening night of her exhibition which runs through the end of July. Her fascination with horses started when her friend took her to several polo matches. She admired the animals grace, speed and agility.


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