What does red mean to you? What does red mean to an artist? Red is a color considered terrifying but to some it’s a color of beauty. It plays with romance and sits around mutilated bodies grotesque, grim and violent yet still a color of love.
Clavers Odhiambo and Richard Njogu utilized their skills to paint the town red at the Alliance Francaise auditorium in Nairobi; the duo showcased a pre-Valentine’s day love with brisk art to the amazement of the attendees.
Clavers who uses oil on canvas, started painting six years ago. “I chose oil based paints because they give me time to bring out the photographic details unlike acrylic which forces you to rush to finish the painting before the colour dries.” the 21 year old said.
“The Ooze” is a fantastic piece of art by the young Clavers, he says the painting took him four days to complete, the painting plays out the female curvature in red silhouette that evokes eroticism that does not to insult the intelligence of the audience.
Richard, an agile visual artist with love for adventure and music on the other hand, uses oil pastel on canvas. “I like making my art during the day. Natural light helps to bring out the best in the art,” the vinyl lover said. His love for music has seen him draw several musical icons like Miriam Makeba, Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Marley on vinyl. The artist also uses broken vinyl records to make unique art pieces.
In calls to promote the artists, youth in Kenya have been encouraged to buy art pieces not only to promote the artists but as investment.
This exhibition is being curated by Lydia Galavu, Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Museums of Kenya.
The event which registered record attendance is the artists’ first major exhibition.