Cyrus Kabiru | Kenya
Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he still lives and works. Kabiru is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist. In 2010, he was the resident artist at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona, Spain. There 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.
Cyrus is 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.
Notable collections include the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in South Africa; the Han Nefkens H+F Foundation (the Netherlands); the Lemaître Collection in France and Studio Museum Harlem (USA).
Kabiru‘s works have also been included in the seminal travelling exhibition Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, first shown at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (Germany) in 2015, and later at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain), and then at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), in 2016. The exhibition was most recently shown at the Kunsthal Rotterdam (Netherlands).
Kabiru’s work was also featured in the exhibition AFRICA – Architecture & Identity at the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk (Denmark), and Beyond Borders, the 5th edition of the Beaufort Triennial in West Flanders (Belgium), both in 2015.
He participated in the show Brutal Beauty: Violence and Contemporary Design at the MARTA Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Herford (Germany); Unorthodox, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at The Jewish Museum in New York; and the Climactic: Post Normal Design exhibition at The Carnegie Mellon University School of Design in Pittsburgh (USA). Cyrus Kabiru was featured in the Gestalten publication titled Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa.
Recently, Kabiru has been included among the most influential 40Under40 Africa, by the influential APOLLO Magazine. Link to the article: www.apollo-magazine.com/cyrus-kabiru
In 2020, he founded Art Orodha (Kenya), a cultural center in the industrial town of Thika, which provides support to emerging contemporary artists.