Kioko Mwitiki (Kenyan, born 1963)
The Racehorse, 1998
224 x 265 x 71 cm
Ksh 550,000 – 800,000 ARR
(US$) 5,800 – 8,400
Provenance: Private collection
Sold Ksh 587,000
Kioko Mwitiki is undoubtedly one of Kenya’s pre-eminent sculptors, renowned both locally and internationally for his life-sized metal works mostly depicting various forms of Kenyan wildlife. Mwitiki studied fine art at Kenyatta University. While on a period of suspension from university following involvement in some student protests in the 1980s, Mwitiki found himself working as an apprentice welder at a welding factory in Nakuru. Mwitiki would later return to university to complete his degree and after a stint as an art teacher whilst also experimenting with painting, he quit his job to set up a studio in Kawangware to focus on his metalworking.
Mwitiki’s large sculptures draw on his exposure to wildlife during his childhood in Kajiado. His sculptures are expressive and imposing, Mwitiki experiments with materials and textures, thinking as much about the forms themselves as about their lives as objects made to live outdoors – akin to the wildlife that inspires them.
In addition to existing in numerous private collections both locally and internationally, Mwitiki has also created several public works including sculptures of wildebeest at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and State House in Nairobi. In 2018, he opened up the Kioko Mwitiki gallery, a space to offer support and mentorship to the upcoming generation of young Kenyan artists.
This is an early work that was originally commissioned for the Nairobi Racecourse.