Kamal Shah (Kenyan, born 1953)
Face to Face, 2011

signed ‘Kamal Shah’ (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
50 x 50cm
Ksh 110,000–140,000
US$ 1,250–1,590
Sold Ksh 199,580

Provenance: Desai Collection

Shah was born and lives in Kenya and is of Indian origin. He studied English Literature and Fine Art followed by a postgraduate diploma in Textile Design at Leeds University, UK. His paintings and mixed media work draw on his African, Asian and European upbringing using motifs and references from all these cultures, often creating work that is spiritual in content or quality.

Shah is a renowned and popular artist in Nairobi and earlier this year exhibited his work at a group show entitled Sanctuary, Home Away, The Common Ground at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University in London.

This painting depicts a recurring theme in Shah’s art, initially entitled the Interface series: each is a portrait of an individual identity but evokes subtle shifts in ethnicity – faces within faces.