Kota Otieno (Kenyan, born 1980)
Untitled, undated
Mixed media
90.8 x 90.7 x 7.2 cm
Ksh 120,000 – 200,000 ARR
(US$) 1,170 – 1,950
Provenance: private collection

Sold Ksh 117,400

Kota Otieno is a conceptual artist, living and working in Nairobi, whose practice includes mixed-media painting, sculpture, fashion and installation. Kota studied art and design at school in Homa Bay until it was removed from the curriculum. After school he moved to Nairobi to pursue his passion for art and, together with the artist Otieno Gomba, in 2001 he co-founded Maasai Mbili Art Studio, an artistic collective and community arts group in Kibera that is still going strong.

Kota explores the potential of discarded materials that, when woven, stitched, hammered, painted – or otherwise deconstructed and re-worked – create synthesized narratives. In his work, beauty and poetry emerge from unexpected places, where the multitudes of lived moments have accumulated.

In 2007 Kota joined the Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts to develop his practice further. Kota has held several solo and selected exhibitions in Nairobi, including at the Goethe Institut, Ramoma, Kuona Trust and Circle Art Gallery, and in 2006 won the second prize at the Goethe Institut/Alliance Française Art Competition.