Richard Onyango (Kenyan, born 1960)
Kangalika in 1968, dated 08, repainted 2014
Signed ‘Richard’ (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas with oil varnish finish
80 x 100cm
Sold Ksh 422,640
Provenance: direct from the artist
Living and working in Malindi, Richard Onyango is one of Kenya’s most prominent artists with a remarkable international following. He has had many careers including working as a carpenter, fashion designer, woodcarver, sign painter, farmer and animal trainer. His life changed at the age of twenty when he first met his European lover Drosie and began his life as an artist, painting his muse.
Onyango exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2003, Africa Remix in 2005, the Hayward Gallery, London and at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, USA. He is represented in the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), Geneva, which was founded by Jean Pigozzi. It is the largest private collection of its kind and includes several of his artworks.
Onyango is fascinated with machines, especially vehicles of all kinds. This painting is from a series of paintings he made in 1969 of the buses, lorries and heavy machinery he has studied throughout his life and whose details are vividly retained in his memory. Kangalika is closest to his heart, being the bus that he took every week to his primary boarding school.