Lot 4

Thandiwe Muriu

CAMO 35, 2021
Photography Jet Ink Print of FineArt RAG+ MATT 310g mounted on dibond, American black box
Ed. 2/3
150 x 100 cm / 59 x 39 in.

Estimate: €12,000 - €18,000
Sold for: €17,700
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

 Represented by 193 Gallery Thandiwe Muriu is a photographer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. As a female artist operating in a previously male-dominated field, she is passionate about celebrating and empowering her fellow women. In her CAMO series, Thandiwe showcases Africa's unique mix of vibrant cultures, textiles and beauty norms. Through her work she celebrates her African heritage and tackles important issues such as identity and self-perception using the rich colours and vibrancy the continent is so well known for.

 Drawing inspiration from African textiles, everyday objects and traditional hairstyles, Thandiwe explores how the individual can lose their identity to culture. In her work she not only explores who she is as an artist, but also as a black woman. Through CAMO, Thandiwe aims to reclaim the self-love of the African woman who is often excluded from beauty standards in her own country. The accessories in Thandiwe's work are inspired by the objects Kenyans interact with in their everyday life, where one object can have multiple uses beyond its original purpose. The Artist explains that this creative recycling is commonplace for a population often lacking in means- "When you have little, you transform and reuse it. " Lastly, passionate about the rich history of traditional, architectural hairstyles that are being forgotten, Thandiwe was inspired to incorporate modern forms of these hairstyles into her work in a process the Artist refers to as 'modernizing history' - drawing from historical elements to inform future generations about the past. Through a vivid aesthetic, the Artist takes you on a colourful journey through her world as a woman living in modern Africa as she reinterprets contemporary African portraiture. "Where you sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth." African Proverb. Representing fond memories of the Artist's mother's hair salon routine, the electric blue eyewear of Camo 35 were created from plastic hair rollers in honour of the then highly fashionable hairstyle from the 90's known as Curly Kit. The Artist holds fond memories of sitting at the hair salon watching her mother put these same type of rollers into her hair, patiently sit under the dryer before walking out with her permed tresses wound into the large bouncy curls signature of the style.

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