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Beatrice Wanjuku


Artist 250

Beatrice Wanjuku

Existentialism

Painting


Beatrice Wanjiku (born 1978) is a Kenyan conceptual artist who specializes in painting. Her distinctive canvases and works on paper constantly probe the human condition, delving into psychological issues and repeatedly questioning our reality and the space we occupy.


Always beginning from a personal perspective, informed by her environment and society’s perceptions that surround her, Wanjiku’s practice scratches away at the superficial images we project in daily life, peeling away the layers that constitute social norm and revealing haunting, abstract figures that mirror our personal, inner self.


Existentialism and the shifting nature of human beings are a constant concern in her practice. She repeatedly interrogates our capacity for self-awareness and our ability to transform, offering an insight into our eternal quest to understand our realities.


Her works explore and interrogate themes about the shifting nature of human beings, existentialism, our capacity for consciousness, self-awareness and ability to overcome external controls on behavior and ultimately our inherent ability to transform. Her works offer an insight into the eternal quest to understand our realities.




Beatrice Wanjuku’s art finds a delicate balance between how reality is imagined and how it actually manifests. Employing a language of figural abstraction, she addresses the pressure to conform to societal expectations.



When asked about her creative process Wanjuku explains, “I am very fascinated with how the body works. The flesh, the blood like in the anatomy books. I see it as color and think about how I can put it into my work. I try to use the exposed inside as a metaphor for what is happening to a person. I tend to feel that I can’t be the only person feeling like this. So I try to put it into a universal context.


I love the human form. It is central to my work. After I prepare the canvas I sketch. After that color takes over and I can paint a layer and leave it, just look at it for the whole day, thinking about how I can develop it. I find accidents I can play around with. But I am very deliberate.”





Sources consulted:

https://www.artlabafrica.com/beatrice-wanjiku

https://www.contemporaryand.com/magazines/the-rising-contemporary-african-art-brand-and-the-burden-of-africanness/

https://www.saatchiart.com/wanjiku

https://www.oneoffafrica.com/beatrice-wanjiku.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Wanjiku

https://www.happeningafrica.com/interview-with-kenyan-artist-beatrice-wanjiku/

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