Lawrence ‘Shabu’ Mwangi (Kenyan, born 1985)
New Democracy 1, 2016
Signed ‘Shabu Mwangi 2016’ (lower right)
Mixed media on canvas
91 x 71 cm
Sold Ksh 305,240
Provenance: direct from the artist
Shabu Mwangi has been a practising artist since 2003 and uses painting to draw upon hidden human events and emotions, revealing the complexity of life’s experience. He lives and works in Mukuru slum in Nairobi, where he established the Wajuuku Art Project in 2013 with a deep conviction that combining his art with social work could highlight the lives of the disadvantaged minorities in his community.
New Democracy 1 is part of a body of work in which the artist is considering how people practice their rights in a nation where the value of human rights is often overtaken by the pursuit of political power. He wonders how the emphasis on patriotism to ethnic political parties affects how diversity is seen, and separation is created, in society.
Mwangi’s exhibitions include Freedom, Flight, Refuge, Circle Art Gallery, 2016, Pop-Up Africa, GAFRA, London, 2014, and Out of the Slum, Essen, Germany, 2012 as well as various solo and group exhibitions in Nairobi.