Mbuno was born in Kenya in the year 1947. He is an recognized
master of the international art scene. His works were exhibited
in very important museums and private galleries in Europe (Saatchi
Collection, London, Germany) and in the United States (Center
for African Art, New York).
his early days, Kivuthi Mbuno worked as a chief on Safaris, which
led him to travel, primarly into the interior of Kenya and Tanzania.
This is how he came to know nature and its wild fauna and to mantain
a close relationship with them that was to mark him deeply. In
1976, his ties with the family of baroness Karen Blixen (better
known under her nome de plume, Isaac Dinesen) led him to
settle in Langata, where, from then on, he devoted himself exclusively
to drawing. These lenghty treks inland as well as the traditional
life of the Wakamba tribe, from which he comes, have inspired
him. 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 combines animals, humas, objects
of traditional life and huge spaces. This is his vocabulary, and
it has not changed in almost 20 years.
the vast territories of Africa have none of that hostile aspects
usually ascribed to them. Kivuthi Mbuno transports us into a peaceable
and luminous world that yields itself up to any activity. For
Kivuthi Mbuno the sparkle of his world is percetible in places
where we do not ordinary notice it. Animals (gazelles, giraffes,
hyienas, elephants, snakes, birds) ceaselessly play with their
morphological characteristics ( the giraffes long neck, the powerful
elephants trunk, and so far) in this nature in which they apropriate
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 they are hunting. Shining through
their very singular faces are the spiritual characteristics of
shrewd, pleasure-seeking, enjoyful people.
model in the artist's mind comes closer to the supernatural than
to the natural. We would be wrong to believe in one ancestral
vision or to see in this work the mark of primitive naivete.
The artist himself explains that what he wants to paint is less
the reality than the idea he has of nature in a sort of eden-like
era. For Kivuthi Mbuno, beauty merges with the lovely harmony
of people with their natural environment, and he feels that this
way of being in the world might be called "being inside beauty".
2013, Kivuthi Mbuno was chosen to represent Kenya at the 55th
edition of the prestigious Venice Biennale.