Cyrus Kabiru – Kenya
He Is Best Known World Wide For His Eye Wear, C-Stunners, His Intricate Sculptural Works Push The Boundaries Of Conventional Craftsmanship, Sculpture, Photography, Design And Fashion.
You came to be known for the stunning C-Stunners! How did you come to be this Artist?
C.K: I started when I was young inspired by my dad and nature
You have made so many C-Stunners, each one of them a masterpiece in it’s own right. Where do you get the energy and inspiration from?
C.K: I always get inspiration from every day living, and the society surrounding me
Which is your personal favorite C-Stunner? -all of them are my favorite And what is the largest art work you have created?
C.K: 150cm long by 100cm high
Other than the C- Stunners, what other works do you do?
C.K: I paint, there is a project I am working on called The End of Black Mamba whereby we used to have a certain bicycle long time ago is now disappearing from the society and I am now working with the remaining bicycles and the latest project I’m working on is Radios
What is the largest Art Work you have made?
C.K: 200cm by 200cm painting
Do you face any challenges in finding materials to produce your art works?
C.K: No, nowadays I’m getting materials from people who visit my studio so I don’t have any issues finding materials.Basically, the materials dictate to me what to make
Do you act as a mentor to any young artists in the Nairobi or anywhere else in Africa?
C.K: Of course, I’ve mentored a lot both in Nairobi and outside the country and I have opened an art space called Kabiru Creatives Art Hub where I’m supporting 5 upcoming artists, outside Nairobi and I also do school programs
How do you see younger artists making their way in the Art world today?
C.K: We have created the way for them not to struggle a lot and that’s why I’m doing the mentorship program, though the young artist have a lot of expectations which sometimes they end up getting disappointed.
You are an excellent example of an artist who has now gained international recognition whilst remaining on the continent. Tell us when and how you came to live off your Art.
C.K: I started few years ago when I did a Ted talk an d participated in several international group exhibitions.
Kenya participated at the 57th Venice Biennale be it with lots of challenges. What are your thoughts on Biennales and International Art fairs for local Artists?
C.K: I won’t talk much about Biennale as I’m not yet qualified to take part according the organizers here in Kenya but for International Art Fairs we need more art fairs as I always participate in many Art Fairs and I always receive positive response.
What are the challenges in getting local support (Government) for young African Artists?
C.K: We don’t get enough support from the government so the young artist still have a long way to go.
What are you working on now?
C.K: I’m working with radios whereby I go around collecting the old radios and redo them and soon you will see them.