Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 45 Richard Onyango

Richard Onyango (Kenyan, born 1960)
Salambo Night Trailer, serial IV, 2013
Signed ‘Richard Malindi Kenya’ (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas
120 x 160 cm

Ksh 500,000-600,000
(US$ 4,545-5,455)
Sold Ksh 528,300

Provenance: direct from the artist

Living and working in Malindi, Richard Onyango is one of Kenya’s most well-known artists with an extensive international following. He began his career by supporting himself through a number of occupations including carpenter, fashion designer, woodcarver, sign painter, farmer and musician. His life changed at the age of twenty when he was working as a drummer in a band and first met his British lover Drosie, who took him under her wing. He began his art career painting pictures of his memories of her and their relationship.

This painting is from a small series in which Onyango narrates the night he lied to Drosie. At her request he had promised he would give up playing music, but one day he told her he was visiting family and went out to perform in a concert. This painting shows the formidable Drosie, having found him on stage, dragging him back to the car in disgrace.

Onyango was included in the Africa Remix exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, USA in 2005 and at the Venice Biennale in 2003. He is represented in the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), Geneva, Switzerland, which was founded by Jean Pigozzi. It is the largest private collection of its kind and includes several of his major works.