SMAC Gallery presents Macho Mbadala by Cyrus Kabiru. This will be the internationally acclaimed Kenyan artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Kabiru is best known for his elaborate and detailed sculptural spectacles, or C-Stunners, constructed from urban debris.
This new series of work presents thirteen new C-Stunners, each complemented by a unique photographic portrait of the artist modelling his distinctive creations.
In this exhibition, the artist has chosen to produce his portraits as a unique edition, allowing for only one image to be released to accompany each pair of C-Stunners. Each single photographic image works symbiotically as one piece with its C-Stunner counterpart.
Visibly maturing over the past decade, and innovatively incorporating cast-offs both man-made and natural, the C-Stunners evoke discourses around ways of seeing and being seen. Often covering the artist’s entire face, there is a performative element to the way in which Kabiru wears his C-Stunners that can be linked to a re-invention of contemporary mask-making – a characteristic employed by artists such as Romuald Hazoumè from Benin and Gonçalo Mabunda from Mozambique.
Also featuring in Macho Mbadala is one of Kabiru’s Black Mambas – the artist’s deconstructed and reimagined version of the fixed gear bicycles that have achieved an iconic status in his home country and the central African region. The Black Mamba sculpture itself becomes a distinctive construction, celebrating the bicycle’s form and (non)function.
Macho Mbadala will be showing from Saturday, 10 June until 01 July 2017 at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg.
Opening: Saturday 10 June at 12h00 in Johannesburg.
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