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.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS POST SERIES:HIDDEN GEMS

 

So there is this little gem,hidden somewhere past Kiserian town about 90 minutes drive  out of Nairobi,along the Magadi road,on a private road  and next  to Ole Polos are  the Ol Talet  and Ol Oika Cottages.This lovely little getaway is nestled in the beautiful wilderness of Kiserian ,from the balcony,you get a lovely and breath taking view of the Rift Valley and you can see the black winding ribbon of Magadi road as it winds its way to Lake Magadi.

Later in the day,as you  sip Kenyan tea or coffee ,it is to the accompanying rattling of the bells on the necks  of Maasai cattle, grazing a few  short meters down the hill.Across the ridge are the herds of goats dotting the landscape as  they make their way up the ridge nibbling on the shrubs and jumping over the rocks that litter the hill.Maybe they will end up on some of our plates over the Christmas season(how sad I think and it almost puts me off eating dinner later).

Ol Talet cottage can accommodate 6 people comfortably as it has 2 double rooms and one room with a double bed,the cottages  are self catering and on hand are David and his able assistant who will roast succulent  goat ribs to perfection.Each of the cottages comes with a fully equipped kitchen and a coffee maker(best news).There is hot shower in their bathrooms ,very  beautiful bathrooms,especially at Ol Talet  where  the excitement of hearing the curtain of sea shells rattle as I walked in for a cold shower  took me to the  beautiful sandy beaches at the Kenyan coast.The bathrooms have wide open windows which let in the morning light and you can see the wide expanse of beautiful African wilderness as far as the eye can see.

Ol Talet cottage has 3 bedrooms,one of them with the 2 single beds is located on the ground floor of the cottage while below ground are the other two bedrooms.The cottage has beautiful,tasteful well done decor and as you walk down the stairs  to the other  2 bedrooms  and shared bathroom below ground ,you walk past a wall filled with  African masks and can admire the stained glass window and the tasteful use of African art and craft pieces in the decor.

There is ongoing work to have a swimming pool ready in 2018.

 

In the morning,I could not wait to wake up to watch the sunset on the balcony ,while listening to the sweet sound of birds chirping and cast my eyes over what seemed like an unending expanse of breath taking views of the Rift Valley.It is so quiet up there ,you want to spend time just watching and listening to nature as it talks to you and whispers that life is a beautiful thing , we are here for a reason and season and we need to make the best of every moment we have.

When it is time for breakfast,we walked up the hill and to the dining area  of Ol Oika cottage where David had set out for us a Kenyan breakfast  and amidst the cheerful banter , we heard nothing except the  familiar voices of friends.If you live in the city long enough ,the honking of cars,matatus becomes normal,that blissful  quietness up there is  a beautiful quietness and we did not want to leave,not yet.

I was  at Ol Talet, with a group of friends,my chama friends,some of whom I have known since Primary school through high school and over the years we  have become   business partners and we had a thoroughly great time  ,occasionally seeing  grey vervet monkeys in the trees that surround the cottage,certainly they must have been curious about us as we were about them.

Before breakfast I had time to look for the   fish pond and almost felt like I was on a Finding Nemo Mission.Remember Bruce the nice shark wit his line “Fish are friends not food.”

The cottages have TV and board games incase you are looking for a little more activity,we were happy to just sit back ,enjoy the scenery,strategize on our plans for the next year and each others company.

If you are looking for a place not too far from the city for a quick getaway then Ol Talet is the perfect location,just over an hours drive from Nairobi,leave on Friday evening and drive back on Sunday after a sumptuous lunch.Bookings at the cottages are done strictly in advance.

Contact Ol Talet .

 

HOW TO BE EFFORTLESSLY STYLISH

Simplicity

Like  all most girls i love being stylishly dressed when i can.

I have mentioned before my continued interest in Pinterest and fashion blogs  .

And i do spend  a considerable amount of time looking for ways to appear stylish without it being too obvious.

Here is to being stylishly chic in 3 easy steps.

1.Wear clothes that fit

We cannot emphasize too much about wearing clothes that fit,not too tight or hanging to loose.They need to skim your body.

Get  clothes that don’t fit  tailored by a qualified seamstress to create a fitting outfit.

2.Don’t be too obvious with your love for luxury brands.The most stylish people i know do not wear the most expensive clothes or luxury brands.

Invest in classic pieces and learn how to pair them for a timeless ,effortless look .

3.Don’t over accessorize.One statement piece of jewellery is enough.

This goes for your hairstyle and make up to,keep it simple and not overly done.

How else do you think we can be stylish without being slaves to fashion,share your advice with us in the comments section.

XO,

Ina