16 Mar Justus Kyalo – Dance and Emotion

Justus Kyalo is Kenyan. He lives and works in Nairobi. Living in Kenya and being Kenyan locates his work and contextualizes it, at least, in a historical sense.

But not really. Kyalo in his artistic expression does not see himself as Kenyan, or African. He is simply human – of the world. And an artist. An artist who is eternally curious about colour –  how colours interact, how they express emotion, what they express, how they affect the senses.

His art, long ago, evolved from the figurative to the abstract, giving him licence to express human emotions without geographic or racial context.

His stories are human stories – about freedom, strength, the alchemy of making art, the struggle to remain true. They are sometime autobiographical, but even when they are, they tell a human story. They tell about his joys and struggles as a reflection of a wider human experience.

Kyalo was born in 1972 in Nairobi. His early training was as a book illustrator and designer at the Creative Arts Centre in Nairobi. He eventually decided to focus on visual arts.

He has continued to explore new ideas and media, recently working with galvanised iron sheets. His process of creation for the this medium is by pouring acid and water on these sheets to create patterns: some accidental, some by design.

He creates these monochromatic plates, and then he returns to his oils –  joyous, rhythmic, evocative – creating a sort of dance with these colours: a fluid, unrestrained harmony that hints at Africa but yet is so fundamentally human that anyone anywhere can find meaning in these colours.