A Kenyan exhibition brings out the art in bar conversations
There is a popular American saying; ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ Could this be true with bars, clubs and popular hangouts? Kenya’s popular artists.
Alex Njoroge and Mosoti Kepha are currently holding an Exhibition dubbed; ‘Bar Conversations’ at the Artspace Gallery in Nairobi.
According to Artspace Kenya, ‘Bar Conversations’ is about the discussions over daily life, disappointments and dreams, carried out once liquid lubricant is introduced. These conversations are often littered with neighborhood gossip, politics and for some; they are a form of therapy. Some find peers, while others find escape from the daily grind. In bars, problems are created and for others, solutions are found. In his work, created from cut and burned strips of beer cans, Alex Njoroge explores what people speak about when their guard is down. Using his own experiences, Njoroge tackles various ideas ranging from love to responsibility.’
On the other hand, Kepha Mosoti brings life to pinewood carvings in his exquisite display of footwear worn by bar patrons.
According to Kuona Trust, Alex Andrew Njoroge is a self-taught artist who holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Nairobi. his love for art started as a young boy and he used to draw cartoons on the back pages of his exercise books while in primary school, his love for drawing extended even to high school and one fine day his teacher of English while marking his book discovered drawings on the back pages and was impressed by them he requested him to paint backdrops for the drama club which he was the patron and since then Alex’s love for painting took a new path.
The hyperrealist Kepha Mosoti was born in Kisii, Kenya and studied at the Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts. His work consists of semi-abstract paintings and mixed media sculptures that are mainly a combination of wood, metal and wires. He is inspired by shapes and objects and enjoys the connection that all these bring in his work. Since 2008, Mosoti has had his work exhibited in a number of galleries such as the Goethe Institute, Ramoma Art Gallery, The GoDown Art Center, The Nairobi National Museum, and Alliance Française.
Both artists work at Kuona Trust, an art haven based in Nairobi.
Through this exhibition, the revelations in the bars are not just but the escapades with paramours and prostitutes but the painful reality. Art lovers would have a nostalgic appreciation of ingenuity of the highest order.