Kivuthi Mbuno was born in Kenya in 1947. Initially, Kivuthi Mbuno worked as a cook on Safaris, which led him to travel into the interior of Kenya and Tanzania. The extended treks into the bush confrontation with the teeming wildlife therein, as well as the traditional life of his Wakamba tribe, are the basis of his inspiration.
Mbuno gives himself to nature and shows us the extraordinary in what is common place. In a precise drawing style - using ink, color pencils, and pastels - he enjoins animals, humans, objects of traditional life and huge spaces into a fantasy cosmos. This is his vocabulary, and it has not changed in more than 20 years. The vast territories of Africa have none of that hostile aspects usually ascribed to them as Kivuthi Mbuno transports us into a peaceable and luminous world that yields itself up to any activity.
Animals (gazelles, giraffes, hyienas, elephants, snakes, birds) ceaselessly play; the giraffes long neck, the powerful elephants trunk, and so on in this nature in which they appropriate their respective territory in perfect harmony with the other animals. Only mankind might appear as the disturbing element. But there, too, Mbuno decks them out with characteristics that are at one and the same time grotesque and elegant: they move about with the same ease as the animals.
Mbuno has exhibited widely, in museums and private galleries across Europe (Saatchi Collection, London, Germany) and in the United States, at the Center for African Art in New York.
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