Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 40 Kivuthi Mbuno

Kivuthi Mbuno (Kenyan, born 1947)
Dangerous Leopard, undated
Signed ‘Kivuthi Mbuno’ (lower left)
Coloured pencils and ink on paper
51.5 x 77 cm

Ksh 120,000-180,000
(US$ 1,090-1,640)
Bought in

Provenance: private collection

Prior to becoming an artist, Kivuthi Mbuno worked as a cook in the safari industry, which led him to travel into the interior of both Kenya and Tanzania, exposing him to nature and the wildlife there. These long treks and his memories of the traditional life of his Wakamba ethnic group are the inspiration for his narrative works.

His distinctive style using colour pencils, ink and pastels leads the viewer into a fantastical natural world, sometimes hostile, sometimes harmonious.

This work is a rare example; according to the artist it is one of only seven works in which westerners are depicted and, despite requests, he refuses to make any more.

Mbuno has exhibited widely, in museums and private galleries across Europe including the Saatchi Collection in London and the Center for African Art in New York.