Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 5 Joseph Bertiers

Joseph Bertiers (Kenyan, born 1963)
The Doctor’s Strike, 2015
Signed ‘Bertiers’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
90 x 175 cm

Ksh 450,000-600,000
(US$ 4,090-5,455)
Bought in

Provenance: direct from the artist

Joseph ‘Bertiers’ Mbatia began his career as a sign writer in the slums of Nairobi but his inventive spirit and sharp intellect compelled him to begin producing amusing paintings full of social commentary on issues relating to the chaos and corruption in Kenya.

Bertiers’ artwork now focuses on the socio-political paradoxes that exist in Kenya and globally. Infused with humour and parody, The Doctor’s Strike is a portrayal of the chaotic scene when news of ebola outbreaks occurred during a doctor’s strike in early 2015 and panicked people who flocked to under-staffed wards for screening.

Bertiers’ paintings and junk-metal sculptures have been exhibited throughout Europe and the USA. In 2011, he had a solo show at Fred’s Gallery in London which also showed his work at Basel Art Fair and the Johannesburg Art Fair in 2012. His paintings feature regularly at the annual Africa Now auction at Bonhams, London.