Michael Soi (Kenyan, born 1972)
Auction, 2013

signed ‘SOI’ (verso)
acrylic on canvas
100 x 200cm
Ksh 100,000–140,000
US$ 1,140–1,590
Sold Ksh 293,500

Provenance: Direct from artist

Soi was born and lives in Nairobi and is a member of what is often termed ‘the second generation’ of Kenyan artists that emerged through Kuona Trust in the late 90s. In 1996, after graduating from Buru Buru Institute of Fine Art in Nairobi, he began his career as a sculptor and over the years refined his own visual and artistic vocabulary through painting.

Soi’s art began to receive local and international recognition, particularly in the diaspora, as he developed an aesthetic vocabulary allied to social commentary. A recent series called ‘China loves Africa’ has been widely collected. He is currently working on a series of paintings that revolve around Nairobi’s sex industry and the denial that around these establishments.

His work has been collected by the Casoria Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples, Standard Chartered Bank (UK) and private collectors including ICC’s Luis Moreno Ocampo and writer, Michela Wrong and lawyer Atsango Chesoni. ‘Auction’ was painted in August 2013 to celebrate this auction.