This is how you capture the rise of Kenya’s vibrant contemporary art scene

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There’s a general misconception that whatever passes for popular art in Kenya are the curios sold to tourists or the murals that hang in restaurants and airport lounges.
But as a new book shows, nothing could be further from the truth. In over 600 pages, Visual Voices presents over 400 pieces from 57 different contemporary artists in Kenya, showcasing a vibrant, edgy, and growing art scene. The artists in the collection use various methods including paintings, sculptures, murals, photography, glassworks, and furniture, besides on-site installation projects.
Issued by the Nairobi-based independent publisher Footprints Press, the book was curated by Susan Wakhungu-Githuku, a prominent Kenyan entrepreneur and a former executive with Coca-Cola in Africa. When she set out to compile the book, Wakhungu-Githuku said she wanted to present as a whole what Kenyan art looked like, and not just the oft-touted images of masks, tribal figurines, and bucolic scenes showing landscapes and wild animals.

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