NAIROBI ART SCENE vibrant as ever

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Busy month for Kenyan creatives

Mike Kyalo’s ‘Tell n Sell’ art. Photo/Margaretta wa Gacheru

Mike Kyalo’s ‘Tell n Sell’ art. Photo/Margaretta wa Gacheru   
By Margaretta wa Gacheru
More by this Author
The New Year hasn’t seen any slowdown in artistic expression among Kenyans.
This past weekend witnessed clear-cut evidence to that fact when Kuona Trust invited the public to attend its first Valentine Art Fair on Saturday, offering art works for as low as Sh6,000 and inviting people to have their portraits drawn by local artists.
There was live music and lots of yummy homemade food.
That same day, the Kenya Television and Film Writers held their Inaugural Meeting at PAWA254.
No limits were set so not only established but also aspiring screenwriters were on hand to take up the challenge of exceeding the artistic excellence of both Nollywood and Bollywood as well as Hollywood, of course.
The idea being that everyday life in Kenya is filled with drama, comedy, mystery and satiric twists that deserve to become screenplays either for TV or film or even for live theatre!
Visual art exhibitions that have already opened in the last few days include one man shows at Alliance Francaise, Kuona Trust and Que Pasa Restaurant.
At Alliance, it’s Mike Kyalo whose exhibition “Tell and Sell” features images of street vendors selling all sorts of items.
Based under umbrellas and in Kyalo’s mind, the vendors are often artisans available to explain and hold impromptu “workshops’ for prospective buyers of their wares, be they crafts, home furnishings or food of assorted types.
Meanwhile late last week, at Kuona Trust, Kevin Oduor mounted an amazing show of metallic sculptures that he calls Exhibition II.
Oduor is one of Kenya’s most prolific, conspicuous and versatile sculptors who’s best known for his life-size Dedan Kimathi sculpture that stands in Nairobi’s City Centre right at the junction of Kimathi and Mama Ngina streets.
His most recent work of public art is at the Makadara Railway Station and he has another magnificent piece out at the Syokimau station near Mlolongo. (We must applaud Kenya Railways for supporting Kenyan contemporary art and artists.)
Existence II is a stunning yet quirky exhibition of mainly men’s trousers which Oduor has created as if they’re worn by dismembered guys who like casual, slightly oversized pants.
Each piece is carefully creased and wrinkled to look lived-in, which makes them all the more interesting and fun. What was Kevin thinking? And why only the bottom half of all of these guys?
Dickson Kaloki’s solo show at Que Pasa in Karen is about to close next week so one had better slip by before the restaurant rotates his work back to Kuona where one may also find his mono-toned Mukuru ‘slum art’.
Go to Business Daily for the full article


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