Kaloki Nyamai (Kenyan, born 1985)
Kana Ka Musyemi, 2019
Signed ‘signature’ Kaloki Nyamai, 19
Mixed media on canvas
102 x 86.7 cm
Ksh 360,000 – 500,000
(US$) 3,300 – 4,500
Provenance: Direct from the artist
Sold Ksh 387,420
Kaloki Nyamai’s multidisciplinary practice incorporates painting, performance and video, drawing heavily on the stories and oral history of his Kamba community. Originally trained in interior design and film, Kaloki launched his artistic career creating figurative works that engaged with the realities of the informal settlement of his childhood. He has since evolved his practice into an investigation of personal identity and its connection to a wider collective history – this is evident in an on-going preoccupation with the hidden unrecorded narratives of his community and fragmented memory.
Nyamai’s work currently straddles the divide between the figurative and the abstract. His is a lengthy process that involves, to varying degrees, a laborious layering of paint on canvasses that, themselves, have been cut and stitched together, sometimes charred, and which are further worked over with charcoal and sometimes spray paints. By adopting these modes of mark making he somehow mimics the complex interactions and social processes in which he is interested.
Nyamai has had solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally, including Nairobi, Cape Town, London, Dubai, and Hamburg. His work has been featured in the Kampala Biennale, 2018, and he is included in the forthcoming Dakar Biennale, Stellenbosch Triennial and Ostrale Biennale, all in 2020. His work is included in private collections across the globe.