On a recent trip to Kenya, I had the good fortune to meet up with Robert Aswani at the Sarit Center in Nairobi. We had a pleasant lunch at the new Monsoon Restaurant and discussed his paintings and recent successes in discovering a new style and medium. After painting wildlife and real-life scenes to please a mass audience, he is now painting in a style that not only pleases his own eye, but seems to have found a nice following in Kenya, and especially in Tanzania where he displays his paintings at a gallery/cafe in Arusha.
I asked Aswani to write a small biography to be included in the website and he wrote the following:
“I was born in Kenya in 1971, and grew up in a rural part of western Kenya known as Luanda. While growing up as a kid, I loved going to the market just to get the excitement of seeing many people gathered together. After my High School education, I came to Nairobi to live with my aunt. Luckily there was a neighbor who was an artist, so I received my informal lessons in the evenings. This is my best part of my approach to painting, my ability to learn and watch, and translate this onto paper or canvas.
Being mostly self-taught, I love to experiment with many painting styles, but I have settled on watercolor inks for now. The market scenes are a true reflection of the market places in my rural home in western Kenya.”
Robert has become a household name in Arusha, Tanzania, and currently makes his home in Nairobi, Kenya.
Concerning the paintings on this website: The rural and informal marketplaces that he would visit as a young boy with his mother were an early inspiration for him. “The marketplace is full of life, color, and the closeness of people”, says Aswani, “The intermingling of people in these informal places provides me with the excitement to paint”.
One thing you will always see in Aswani’s market scenes is at least one character in white. I asked Robert about this and he laughed saying, “Oh yes, he must be there! He is the life of the scene and all others surround him. I love to paint him the most because he is so easy, he’s just space without color!”
Also see the brother of Robert Aswani – Introducing the fantastic art of Zack!
Jan 2016 – I have promoted Robert Aswani on my website for 17 years – he was one of the original artists when I started this thing. In the course of these 14 years we have met many times – it’s always a pleasure to see him.
Incredible maturity and a high level of wonderful abstractions make his paintings extremely unique. Aswani follows nobody and his paintings are a refreshing departure from what I could call ‘typical’ contemporary paintings from Africa. His paintings are among my all-time favorites and it’s an honor to be able to give him the exposure he deserves on this website.
If you are interested in any of Robert Aswani’s paintings, you can Make an Offer by using the Contact Page or by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, better yet, go to the Purchasing Page to make a purchase!
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