Chain Muhandi (Kenyan, born 1957)
The Refugees of Africa, undated Signed ‘Muhandi Chain’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
91.5 x 123.1 cm
Ksh 150,000 – 250,000
(US$) 1,600 – 2,600
Provenance: Direct from the artist via Tabitha Wa Thuku
Sold Ksh 193,710
Born Charles Ng’ang’a Kuria, Chain Muhandi is one of the founders of the Ngecha artists’ village, in the outskirts of Nairobi that has produced many of the artists who have defined a period of Kenya’s art history. Muhandi started his career making batiks to sell at the City Market in Nairobi as well as other tourist places at the coast. A painting workshop in 1988, sponsored by the Goethe Insitut in Nairobi inspired him to become a painter.
Muhandi’s paintings are political and social commentaries drawn from real life events where he tries to communicate directly and immediately with his audience. Along with his subject matter, Muhandi also chooses colours that are true to life, working with a combination of gouache, acrylics, and natural pigments mixed and developed in his studio. He believes strongly in the power of art to educate and uplift society and with his narrative style of painting, he portrays the ills and injustices of society – an impulse that shines through in this work, The Refugees of Africa.