Art Madrid'24 – Evans Mbugua – We are all Spinning around the Same Sun 4 (2022)
about Evans Mbugua
Nairobi, (Kenia), 1979
Evans Mbugua, originally from Kenya, spent his formative years there until the age of nineteen. In 1999, he relocated to France, where he has resided since. His cultural identity reflects a fusion of his upbringing in an African, anglophone birthplace and his adult life in a western, francophone adopted home. Through paintings, sculptures, and video installations, Mbugua delves into the complexities of this hybrid identity. Mbugua's artistic process involves constructing vibrant patterns using pictograms gathered since 2004 from places he has inhabited or visited. These carefully selected signs form imaginary abstract landscapes, serving as both aesthetic elements and visual metaphors for human movement within a social fabric. His artworks in oil and acrylic on perspex feature figures—depictions of family and friends—engaged in everyday scenarios, celebrating mundane experiences like conversations, dancing, or playing. Mbugua explores human relationships and the pursuit of happiness within the ordinary. Rooted in lived experiences, his work reflects a keen awareness of surroundings, creating visual memories to affirm the connections between individuals and places. As Mbugua aptly expresses, "Everything that I am, comes from lived experiences – what I’ve smelled, tasted, heard or seen, what I’ve read, where I’ve been to, who I’ve met…”. He creates visual memories as a way to affirm presence and links of existence.