“Here’s to friendship, to collaboration, to the love of theater, Africa, and women. Here’s to Danai Gurira and the world of Eclipsed on Broadway she created, that I get to embody and inhabit every night at the Golden Theater.”
Kenyan-born artist Tahir C. Karmali’s “work provides an honorable representation of how Kenyans have
steady used the disownment of their government, and created a culture of
triumph and beauty.
“The philosophy behind ‘Jua Kali’ is what inspired me - it is
this notion that no matter what, we are going to make it work with what
we have around us. The idea that junk and scrap can be repurposed to
create whatever we want.” -Tahir”
Cyrus Kabiru is a self-taught Kenyan artist who works in various mediums including painting and sculpture. He is best known for his Afrofuturism series, C-Stunners, an ongoing project consisting of elaborate eyeglasses that are imaginatively constructed out of found objects and recycled trash. These wearable sculptures, part fashion statement part social-political commentary, capture the sensibility and attitude of the youth generation in Nairobi. They portray the aspiration of popular culture bling and reflect the ingenuity and resourcefulness of people. The lenses are a metaphorical filter providing a fresh perspective of the world.
Sunglass designer Karen Walker’s ads for the S/S2014 season. The New Zealander partnered with the United Nations to commission works from Kenyan artists, which took the form of printed cloth pouches that accompany each pair of sunglasses. To honor the collaboration, Walker also cast the artists in her ads, pairing her quirky, oddball shades with the personal style of the subjects.
Female artists have been greatly ignored throughout history and the statistics are nothing short of depressing. A woman’s perspective has always been looked at as something lesser than a man’s, regardless of her ability to influence and inspire others. Through my photographs I hope to portray women (and men) as more than just a muse or object. Perhaps because I am a woman and because I’ve been photographing myself since the tender (and very awkward) age of ten, I have learned that women don’t need to appear blatantly sexy/cute/pretty to be interesting. If we continue to stay trapped in this narrow fantasy world of android like women and terrifyingly macho men then we wont ever get to experience the subtle yet remarkably beautiful differences from person to person. Everyone has a story to tell, and the complexities of their realities are far more compelling than the gross simplification of what art has traditionally expressed. Some stories are deeper, darker, more obvious, more fictional or more secret than others.
Meet Kenyan artist Michael Soi, who is considered to be a part of the next generation of prominent Kenyan artists. Soi started his career as a sculptor and later evolved into a unique and ecclectic visual artist. A majority of his work touches on socio-political concerns. Soi’s art addresses issues of political freedom, self-indulgence and Kenya’s growing sex industry through his own comical interpretation.
There has been much discussion as well as different opinions in regards to China’s involvement in Africa. China is now Africa’s major trade partner and in some cases has been viewed as an exploiter of Africa’s raw materials. “China Loves Africa” was Michael Soi’s 18-piece series that not only captured China’s associations with Africa but also highlighted the manipulative ways that he saw China acting as Africa’s neo-colonist.
“African leaders are seeking trade partners who will not ask questions; so in essence, China is Africa’s sugar daddy. ” - Michael Soi
to celebrate we feature the work of a great Kenyan artist James Njoroge from his “Mwanamke ni effort” series (roughly translating to it takes a lot of effort being a woman or the more succinct “woman IS effort”)
James Njoroge aka Kimoshire
Style: Realist/ Digital Art
Fun Fact: I am a fine art student in Kenyatta University. I love doing illustrations and playing around with design software.
1. Haki (Right)
3. Chama (association)
4. What it feels like to be a girl
5. Mama Soko (market Woman)
6. Nywele (hair)
7. Mother Makmende (SuperMom)
8. Ndio Sababu Hajanichoka (It’s Why She’s not tired of me)
This is the story of Kenya’s League of Extravagant Grannies who were once corporate and government leaders in the 1970’s but are now retired. They now live the retired high life travelling to exotic and remote areas within Africa to explore, party and enjoy in exclusivity.We managed to catch up with 3 of them in Somalia soon after they landed. Little is know about them till now…..
STYLING / PRODUCTION: Kevin Abbra MAKE UP: Valary Mdeizi HAIR STYLING: Richard Kinyua (Strand Africa) CONCEPT & PHOTOGRAPHY: Osborne Macharia