Cyrus Kabiru | Kenya
“Most of my projects are freestyle. I don’t plan tomorrow. And I’m very happy.”
Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he still lives and works.
Kabiru is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist, known for his sculptural spectacles or C-Stunners, which are made of retrieved objects and recycled materials sourced on the streets of Nairobi. His intricate sculptural works push the boundaries of conventional craftsmanship, sculpture, photography, design, and fashion. His works deal with transformation and renewal. The design of his works embeds his vision of the future. Each C-Stunner is the product of an innovation process intimately linked to his life-story. Recently, Kabiru has also focused on the deconstruction and reconstruction of radios, bicycles, and other pop objects.
In 2010, he was the resident artist at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona, Spain. He was the first artist to participate in the Flow Series talks program – a joint initiative of the Han Nefkens Foundation and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation. In 2013, he was selected for an innovator fellowship at TED’s The Young, The Gifted, The Undiscovered program. In 2016, he was chosen by Quartz as one of the most promising Africa Innovators in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2021 he was the resident artist at AKKA Project Venice, Italy. Lately one of his radios has been acquired by the Met Museum in New York City after his participation at the group exhibition Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room.
Selected solo exhibitions:
End of the tunnel, Online solo exhibition, AKKA Project, Artsy
C-Stunners & Black Mamba at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa
Cyrus Kabiru, Kuntspodium T Gallery, Tilburg, Netherlands
The C-Stunner, Kuona Trust, Nairobi, Kenya.
Selected group exhibitions:
MORE MATERIAL, presented by fashion designer Duro Olowu, Salon 94 Bowery Gallery, New York, USA
The Shadows Took Shape, The Studio Museum, Harlem, USA
Afrofuture: Adventure with makers, thinkers and dreamers, collaboration with La Rinascente, Milan Design Week, Milan, Italy
Museum of Architecture (Arkitekturmuseet), Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
New Museum Architect, Stockholm, Sweden
LagosPhoto Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
Phantasms of the Non-City /LAGOS PHOTO FESTIVAL, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
Visiones Africaines, Perimeter Art & Design, Paris, France
The Space we Live in, Rosetta Arts, London, UK
‘Framed! Contemporary Eyewear in Fashion’. Fashion Space Gallery, London
College of Fashion, London, UK
Istanbul Design Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey.
C-Stunners, Maker Faire Africa 2010, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Mwangali Tofauti: Nine Photographic Perspectives from Kenya, Portraits of Cyrus Kabiru by Barbara Minishi, Nairobi Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
‘A Kenyan artist transforms trash’, March 22, Showbiz, CNN, Atlanta, USA
Rosenburg, K. ‘The Future Is African’, New York Times, New York, USA
Cavendish, E. ‘Under the Magazine’, The Africa Issue, November, COUNTRY ‘C-STUNNERs worn by Bobby Womack’, Clash Magazine, December, London, UK
Hossfeld, J. (ed), ‘MWANGALIO TOFAUTI Nine Photographers from Kenya’, National Museums of Kenya, Contact Zones NRB vol. 05, Nairobi, Kenya
‘Manufactured: Cyrus Kabiru’s Recycled Art from Makeshift: https://vimeo.com/33167682