Cyprian Rasto | Kenya

“My artistic work is about photos, pictures as visual ways of keeping memories of different events and  irreplaceable times captured as selfies, passports, mugshots… These  photographs regenerate the feeling of the moment they were taken, events of joy, sorrow and fun times are felt again”

Born in 2001, Rasto Cyprian is a self-taught mixed-media artist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

His initiation into the art world began in 2013 when he was just twelve years old; he discovered an art program offered by the Uweza Foundation, a prominent NGO in his residential area. After two years in the program, he developed enough confidence to begin painting on canvas. Prior to this, most of his materials were pencil, paper, and other cheap materials provided by the program. As his interest in art grew, Rasto sought out other art spaces in his local community to sharpen his skills and gain exposure to other artists, such as Onyis Martin. 

His work is inspired by time and how people can actually travel through it and enjoy past moments. He is strongly influenced by artists such as Onyis Martin, Francis Bacon, and Chuck Close. Literature and work of the old Italian masters also shape his work and technique. 

Cyprian’s creative process involves the reductive method as he scrubs off brush and pencil strokes, then goes back to add stencil and collage on top. He tends to embrace both vibrant and muted colors combined with a patterned background.

Art is some kind of necessity for Rasto, a safe space which generates mental comfort. 

Thanks to his new success he completed his high school course and joined the Presbyterian University of East Africa to study Education Arts with a major in English and Literature. 

Group exhibition

2022
African identities, AKKA Project Venice, Venice, Italy

2019
Kuona Trust

2017
Mask Prize art competition (won in the category “Promising young artists under 25”)

Solo exhibition

2020
Liminal Spaces at Unseen Nairobi

Selected Works

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