HYPER-REALISM AT THE DUSITD2

When I walked into the Den at the DusitD2 which is  the new location of the Pop Art Gallery I immediately knew it would be a treat,the exhibition had changed locations and anyone who drives into the cul de sac that is 14 River Side cannot miss it.,it is held every last Saturday of the month from 11am-6pm. During these 7 hours you get to meet some amazing Kenyan artists,see their work and hopefully I hope you can engage them on their work which is something I do every time.

The Den’s over head and natural lighting make it  perfect for displaying  art  work and can accommodate more artists and art work.Immediately I walked in  I was drawn to the far left side of the room by what I thought looked like photos..wait I thought this was  an art exhibition…I would soon be pleasantly surprised when I  met Lee Gitahi a hyper realist.

Lee  Gitahi is a student at Kenyatta University he is exceptionally talented and the art form he has taken, hyper realism is extremely rare in Kenya and only goes to underline his talent.Hyper realism is defined as an art form that mimics high definition photography.

He started out doing pencil work and was really good at it till his lecturer took them out on a trip and challenged him to try painting and see how it would go.He did and 6 months later it is hard to tell that he has not been painting for longer than that.

Hyper realism is extremely painstaking , very detailed , involving and at first Lee faced disbelief when he put out his work ,no one believed that the work was his and not a very good digital copy.I also could not get over the fact that his paintings look surreal,I had to touch them and repeatedly I had to catch myself ,touch my fingers to the painting to confirm that indeed it was an oil painting on canvas.

My favorite work of his which unfortunately was sold already was of this elderly Maasai lady in some really swanky sunglasses.The detail in that work as well in another similar photo of an elderly man in his beaded earrings is simply stunning,he has captured all the lines of age  and the stories their faces tell exceptionally well.

Hyper realists are extremely rare and a piece could take anywhere from 2 or 3 months to complete which makes pieces by artist like Lee carry a high price tag . If you are an art collector ,pieces like these are worth every cent you spend and once you have them up on your wall they will from great conversation pieces at your dinner parties.

 

The mix of artist at the exhibition was eclectic and among them was  Otto Gohole who was exhibiting for the first time , from his work you can see his obsession with the palette knife,lines,structure and vehicles.He was exhibiting for the first time  and is  a student as well  in his second year at the University.He uses a palette knife for all of  his work and I was taken in  by his Beach scene painting that used just blue and red which  I thought was a very clever use of complementary colors.

Otto Gohole’s work

It is interesting to see the revolution taking place in the Kenyan art space and it is quite intriguing as well to see the fascination as well as the increase by artists in not just painting wildlife but in people as well as in life around them.

Lee Gitahi’s detailed work of the elderly Maasai man and woman which I would dare say are exceptional pieces of work I hope will  open doors for artists to see the richness and diversity of our culture and to use them as sources of inspiration for their work.

 

 

 

HOW EMOJI’S ARE CHANGING HOW WE COMMUNICATE

How many of you use emoji’s when communicating with family or friends ?

I know I do all most of the time.

Did you know there is world Emoji day marked on July 17th?

Emoji’s are described by the Oxford Dictionary as a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion.

There are 2,666 emoji characters available as of June of last year,more than there are letters of the alphabet….!

Thanks to technology and the rising use of social media we have seen an increase in the use of emoji’s even  by big brands and millennials are quite adept at using them, Goldman Sachs after research on millennials  condensed their findings into  a 22  emoji character Tweet.

To be honest the first time I watched the video last year  I had no idea who had done it .

A music video made up of entirely emoji’s..who does that?

Well Sauti Sol does.

The Kenyan music group remains one of my favorites and I have followed their music over the years .I like the boldness with which they bring to each of their music projects  their  Afro-pop sound and as they have become more daring over the years , won awards that no other Kenyan group has they  continue to ruffle the very smooth moral feathers of Kenyan society or not.

Whether you think their music videos  raunchy or simply great works of art,music for them as a form of art offers  a reflection of  society as it is.

The Friendzone music video was a first in terms of emoji use,  as you might expect …has a raunchy subtext.But it did say something about how we have moved from text to visual messaging and  how we have adopted them as a  fun way to express our thoughts and ideas.

An Emoji sentiment analysis done between 2015 and 2017 among 6 billion users show emoji use is higher among women.

The analysis ran by Brandwatch also analysed some of the most popular emojis among men and women .

Last year Facebook adopted use of emoji reactions where users who were previously limited to “liking” posts  now have multiple options to choose from that range from “love”,”sad”,”angry”,”wow” or ‘haha.”

Emojis are changing the way we express ourselves which must say something about how we communicate with each other.In a world where we  are more connected than we have ever been in human history,why have we resorted to use of emojis?

Have we exchanged real conversations for  over reliance on technology  and do emojis muddy the waters of communication or make them clearer ?

What does this say about how we will communicate with each other in a few years and what does that mean for relationships today and in the future ?

It will be interesting to see where we are headed and how things change but just incase you want to keep up with all things emoji related,then use this resource tool for all things emoji related- Emojipedia .

 

 

BRIDGING KENYA’S LOCAL CONTENT GAP

LOCAL CONTENT

Maridadi started out  as a food blog ,it was the fourth blog i had started and it was l in an effort to bridge the local content gap  in the Kenyan  market.

I was tired and maybe bored of reading stories from other continents,great as they were i needed to read stories that were  closer to home.

And i started writing about cooking traditional Kenyan vegetables,getting adventurous with ugali,i even wrote about boiling green maize/corn a tasty delicacy especially right now when we are having the rainy season.

And yes i even had a matumbo (goat tripe) recipe.

It was exciting to see the many peple who read the posts and one of the top favourites from readers all over the world was the njahi or black beans recipe.

So Kenyans……. Africa and the rest of the world  are  ready to hear stories from its writers,just ask Chimamanda Adichie who has had roaring success with her books .

In the beginning it was agonizing ,i  kept on checking the statistics to see just how many people read my posts,i wanted to hit 5000 views with my first post.

But it does not happen that way,like all writers know….. but you write anyway.

If you are an aspiring writer with something to say…write…not for the money but because you want to be part of the exciting changes happening on the african continent and in your country.

Inspire someone.

Which brings me to my 2nd point….

Social media has changed the way we consume information,how we share it and how we communicate with each other.

Just look at the Facebook groups that are  bringing together individuals from all the 5 continents sharing a  common interest(s).

We are filtering out information already and creators of content need to recognize that we cannot be everything to everyone,find your niche audience then go for it,write ,create and share your it.

You will only be great at what you do if you love what you do.

Your blog will turn into a rich,vibrant space where people can share ideas when they see the love  you have for what you do.

When Mozilla released a report on a study they did last year on how technology and design approaches can help grow the creation of local content, they found some interesting things about Kenya.

Here are a few findings from the study

  • Beyond Whatsapp  and other social media platforms many Kenyans have very little  use of the internet.
  • There is a very glaring lack of local content especially for non English speakers.
  • Gossip and entertainment news form a very large proportion of local content that is available 

With these findings in mind,i am on a mission to campaign for more local content on the web,i would love to see a Swahili blog up and running in addition to reading more content from Kenyans and other Africans.

Do you have any ideas to share of how we can make this happen,leave  comment.

And if you are a blogger or writer and would like to share your writing with the readers who read Maridadi,leave a link of your blog in the comments section.

Xo,

Ina