By Nii B. Andrews.
Cyrus Kabiru with his “surreal and phantasmagorical creations” of hand fabricated wire spectacles has made waves in a multitude of art and fashion publications across the globe.
His work started from Kenya – his homeland, at the Kuona Trust which has now morphed into the Kuona Arts Collective.
Kabiru focused on utilising found objects as these were the only materials readily accessible to him.
Korogocho — the site of one of Nairobi’s largest garbage dumps — where he grew up has been the source of the bottle caps, discarded wires and other objects that constitute the futuristic spectacle frames that he makes.
These have now become immediately recognizable and sought after sculptures that are found in museums, galleries and collections.
Thus the ‘Afrodazzled’ spectacular (!) bifocals are entirely his own invention and are intimately linked to his life-story.
The work sits itself between fashion, wearable art, performance, and one of a kind commodity objects.
C-STUNNERS have a certain vitality and playfulness that really captures the sensibility and aspirational attitude of the youth in Nairobi…and beyond.
They portray the insatiable aspiration for bling and instagramable material.
C-STUNNERS also provide a whimsical and perhaps tragic perspective on a continent where the majority of the visually impaired face daunting challenges in accessing adequate eye care services.
They also reflect the ingenuity and resourcefulness of people.
The frames provide a fresh perspective of the world that we live in transforming the wearer not only in appearance but also in their mindset.
His work is included in the international travelling exhibition, Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design – curated by Amelie Klein and Okwui Enwezor – opening on 14 October 2018 at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, USA.