Kaloki Nyamai's first solo exhibition in the US.
Moments I Wished I Had
September 10 – October 8, 2022
Catalogue Launch: Saturday, October 1 3-5 pm
Keijsers Koning is pleased to present Moments I Wished I Had by Kaloki Nyamai his first solo show in the United States. The exhibition will feature new paintings, dealing with a personal narrative intertwined within the fabric of Kenyan community.
Moments I Wished I Had, focuses on the relationships within families and how memories or the desire of one, inform his own stance on fatherhood. As in many cases in Kenya, Nyamai was raised by his mother, even though his father was present but never emotionally present. This separation of family structures had become a forced and exploited pattern during colonialism, with recent generations trying to bridge these social caverns. Nyamai seeks to visualize familial moments that should have transpired and offer inspiration to make sure we make them now.
On display are unstretched canvas works that invoke a presence and share a lineage to quilting as it explores a universal narrative of human relations. The latter is depicted through unceremonious scenes set in intimate quarters, allowing for the subjects to have their guards down and depict moments that we all can relate to. These scenes are what we build our memories on and allow for the viewer to appreciate the bond of the subjects as well as a shared juncture.
The depicted figures are embellished with his trademark of rough applied paints formed into shape by sewn threads. These threads trail from the canvas and leave a cascading drape giving the impression of the surface being in action. The sewing is a process of healing for Nyamai as the act symbolizes a bringing together and mending, as in this instance the memories of childhood. To Nyamai the act of painting is a responsibility to represent the untold stories that have or are being swept under the rug too many times.