- One can’t be certain what sparked that zeal for footwear, but it surely might need one thing to do along with his rising up enjoying Lifundo (an improvised ball) barefooted.
- BDLife was on the Artist Discuss with Stickky and Elvis final Friday the place Stickky had managed to incorporate one Lifundo ball portray in his present.
Erick ‘Stickky’ Muriithi has an affinity for sweaters and footwear.
Even earlier than he began portray footwear on canvas or drawing them with charcoal on straw paper or spray-painted them on stone partitions, he was portray vibrant graffiti designs of individuals’s strolling footwear.
One can’t be certain what sparked that zeal for footwear, but it surely might need one thing to do along with his rising up enjoying Lifundo (an improvised ball) barefooted.
“No person performs Lifundo anymore since we used to make our ball with plastic luggage. However since plastic luggage are outlawed in Kenya immediately, the pastime is lifeless. However it was actually enjoyable,” recollects Elvis Ochieng’, a Kenyatta College artwork scholar and intern at Nairobi Nationwide Museum the place Stickky’s second solo exhibition opened late final week.
BDLife was on the Artist Discuss with Stickky and Elvis final Friday the place Stickky had managed to incorporate one Lifundo ball portray in his present along with one among a Lifundo match the place one might virtually really feel the youthful vitality of the boys at play.
That very same vibrant dynamism can be current in work like ‘B-boy’ and ‘Kick-Push’, the primary portraying a lad who shows the agility of a dancer and the vitality of a hip hop artist, and the second is of a skate-boarder nearly to take a spill off his board however struggling to carry his steadiness, assisted by what appears like turbo-jets fired up on the again finish of his board.
Stickky’s present, entitled Watu, Viatu, na Mavazi 2 isn’t solely about footwear, regardless of his that includes all the things from mountain climbing boots and a ballet slipper to Nike sports activities footwear and well-worn Bata sneakers. It additionally has its share of second-hand sweaters, every one part of his ‘Stolen Sweaters’ collection.
“I name them ‘stolen’ as a result of they have a tendency to come back and go, relying on which of my buddies decides he (or she) feels they want one among my sweaters greater than I do,” says the artist whose sweaters are usually massive, brilliant and multicoloured.
Stickky’s use of color is sort of as emblematic of his fashion as are his footwear. Some may discover his combine and clashing non-match of hues a ache of their eyes. Others may really feel the colors juxtaposed in a piece like “Kick, Push” are garish and disturbing.
However that may be fantastic with Stickky whose work usually require the viewer to do a double-take to see what he’s doing in his artwork, which is actually having enjoyable.
As an example, one may have a look at his work of a pair of sneakers or low-cut boots, and never immediately discover the 2 footwear don’t match. You would not simply miss the truth that the ballerina carrying his ballet shoe is simply carrying one. The opposite barefoot appears battered and bandaged.
“I’ve many buddies who’re dancers, and so they usually battle to cope with their ft,” says Stickky who additionally consists of a number of lavish portraits of pretty African girls, every decked out in elegant robes made with brilliant, unforgettable colors that appear to radiate with an incandescent glow.
On the identical time, there’s a entire part of the gallery by which solely hangs Stickky’s charcoal drawings. So whereas most of his works are painted with acrylics or spray paint, that one part is devoid of color aside from blacks and browns.
But right here one can see Stickky’s actual talent in draughtsmanship as he attracts fingers touching tenderly and delicate ft elongated as in a ballerina’s pose on her toes.
When requested why he has charcoal works in his present, he explains that his first mentor and artwork instructor was Patrick Mukabi who begins everybody out with charcoal which he says teaches them many classes.
“One in all them is endurance,” says Stickky who advised the gang who got here to his Artist Discuss the day after his present’s opening, “Patrick Mukabi taught me all the things I do know.”
However he provides a caveat to that. “I discovered about graffiti from Uhuru B who by then was primarily based on the GoDown,” says Stickky.
It was in 2015 that all of them shifted from GoDown to the Railway Museum and after that, Stickky lastly moved to Karen Village (as did Mukabi) the place they’re all primarily based immediately.
Stickky spent most of his childhood in Western Kenya since that’s the place his mom labored. Then he went to secondary in Nyeri and at last got here to Nairobi for faculty on the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. He says assembly Mukabi modified his life.
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