ARTLabAfrica is delighted to announce that Kenyan artist Onyis Martin will exhibit at Zürcher Gallery, New York, as part of the Salon Zürcher AFRICA.
The exhibition, which will be showing from 2-7 May 2017, celebrates young contemporary artists from across the African continent and shines a light on a creative talent that may be unknown to international audiences.
Deeply connected to contemporary urban society, Onyis Martin’s paintings, sculptures and works on paper explore, portray and reflect on current issues affecting not only the African continent but the world as a whole.
Exhibiting a selection of his current group of works entitled Talking Walls, Martin extends his exploration of how information depends on and is influenced by freedom and social structure whilst investigating the rise of consumerism.
Fascinated by the visual power of the contemporary urban wall, with its eclectic collage of mainstream advertising and superimposed underground street imagery, Martin reflects on branding and visual communication, focusing on the constant manipulation and destruction of language that individuals operate.
Disparate images, superimposed with thick layers of acrylic paint and wire-mesh effects create impenetrable backgrounds. A combination of messages and visuals coexist on the same wall the artist questions.
Whilst advertising and posting in public places has been replaced by new media in line with 21st Century’s technological shifts, paper posters still provide a powerful visual reflection of any urban space and as a means of communication posters personify the walls where they are placed and affect how the viewer relates to it.
Other participating galleries include Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Anna Reverdy (Paris, France), Parnet in Art (New York, USA) and (S)itor/Sitor Senghor (Paris, France).
This is the second edition of Salon Zürcher AFRICA and the first show of Onyis in New York, USA. Onyis has previously exhibited at The Cape Town Art Fair, SA.
Coinciding with Salon Zürcher AFRICA, ARTLabAfrica will also be exhibiting Kenyan artist Paul Onditi during 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York, from 5-7 May 2017.
NOTES TO EDITORS
• Established in 2013 by Director Lavinia Calza, ARTLabAfrica is a cultural platform focused on developing experimental art across East Africa and connecting local artists with international audiences.
• Operating in a region where the lack of infrastructure hinders the artistic visibility and recognition of the talent and art produced, ARTLabAfrica aims to provide a framework for artists to exhibit their work outside the region, further fostering curatorial practice and creating new dialogues with curators, collectors, museums and cultural producers globally.
• As a platform for experimentation, ARTLabAfrica has built a strong reputation for selecting and nurturing new talent. The space functions as an open laboratory for the expression of artistic and cultural practices, supporting artists whose diversity encompasses performance, installation, painting, photography and sculpture.
• In December 2016 ARTLabAfrica opened an artist-led, non-profit project space to promote awareness and visibility in Nairobi’s emerging arts community through staging cultural events, exhibitions, performances and workshops open to the public. Its first event was a solo show exhibition of Kenyan artist Onyis Martin.
• Website: www.artlabafrica.com
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• Born in Kisumu, Kenya in 1987, Onyis Martin is a young painter and mixed media artist living and working in Nairobi.
• Delving into concerns such as human trafficking, migration, political and institutional corruption, repressive environments and
displacement, Martin’s works also explore issues of freedom, communication, rapidly evolving technological information and
• Linked by questioning and exploring several concepts and issues at any one time, Martin’s work is often presented as an
• Onyis Martin currently works with kids in Mathare and Kibera slums in Nairobi, teaching art and craft.
• First founded in Paris by Bernard and Gwenolee Zürcher in 1992, Galerie Zürcher established a second branch in New York in