Textured Pop Art Portraits of Kenyan Artist Evans Mbugua

Textured Pop Art Portraits of Kenyan Artist Evans Mbugua

Evans Mbugua is an artist from Kenya. He currently lives and works in Paris, drawing inspiration from both cities. He comes from a background of print and graphic design, working with color and texture.

“I portray my life, that of my friends and strangers. In this way, diversity nourishes my curiosity of the world. I take a look at our identities and their hidden facets. I favour portraits to celebrate my characters. I use glass and perspex to beautify my subjects by shine and reflections, while underlining human frailty. In my work, pictograms represent our urban environment which shapes, rhythms our life and which, in turn, becomes my playground.”

Evans Mbugua defines himself as a “graphic recycler”. Through his artistic practice with the urban pictograms he gathers while traveling or during his daily life, he creates a second life, a rebirth, both colorful and lively. His paintings are articulated around the representation of a motif that he repeats ad infinitum, thus forming the background of each of his compositions on which he draws in dotted lines, with light and aerial writing the images of people who cross his path.

A former artistic director, Evans Mbugua graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from the Beaux-Arts de Pau (France), and has devoted himself to his artistic practice for the past six years creating paintings in shimmering colours on plexiglass plates. He has also collaborated with the high-end jewelry company Maison Chaumet, for which he recently designed six broaches part of the Jewelry collection Les Mondes de Chaumet.

“The portraits I paint represent people who are close to me in one way or another. They can be long term relationships or individuals I’ve just met in different places and with whom I spent some pleasant moments. I simply want to keep a memory of these encounters which then constitutes an archive of the best moments of my life. For the portrait, I always start with a dot and it is an accumulation of dots that will vibrate together so that the portrait can be seen on the plexiglass. The starting dot represents an individual and it is the accumulation of these dots that will create the portrait.”

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