b. 1984, Nairobi, Kenya.
Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.
Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he currently lives and works. Kabiru is a self-taught sculptor, using both found materials and photography in his practice. In 2019, Kabiru was a resident artist at the Africa First Residency in collaboration with START incubator project in Israel; preceded by the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) Artist in Residency Programme at the Segera Retreat in Laikipia, Kenya in 2018 and the Fundació Han Nefkens residency in Barcelona, Spain in 2016. Selected awards include the Quartz Africa Innovators recognition at Quartz Africa’s Innovators Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016; the Maker Faire Africa Award for Best Artist Innovation – Thinking Outside the Box in 2010 and in 2007 was awarded the Young Innovator Award by the Sandbox Network, in London, UK. Recent talks and presentations include Comparative Futurisms | Afro-Asian Perspectives, as part of Art Basel in Hong Kong, China in 2019; Re-Visioning Africa Through the Creative Lens with Cyrus Kabiru at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, USA in 2018, as well as “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered” at the TED Talk Conference in Los Angeles, USA in 2013.
Notable group exhibitions include; Material Insanity at MACAAL in Marrakech, Morocco and KUBATANA at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Vestfossen, Norway, both in 2019; the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, India in 2018; All Things Being Equal, at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017; Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design, a travelling exhibition curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany in 2015, later shown at The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and selected museums in the USA; Brutal Beauty: Violence and Contemporary Design at the MARTA Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Herford, Germany in 2016; Lumières d’Afriques, at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France; AFRICA – Architecture & Identity at the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark; Beyond Borders, the 5th edition of the Beaufort Triennial in West Flanders, Belgium; and Unorthodox, at The Jewish Museum in New York City, USA, all in 2015.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Macho Mbadala in Johannesburg and Pandashuka in Cape Town, both at SMAC Gallery in 2017; C-Stunners and Black Mamba, at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, in 2015, Cyrus Kabiru at Kuntspodium T Gallery in Tilburg, Netherlands, in 2011 and another self titled exhibition at the Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Arts (RaMoMA) in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009.
Kabiru’s art fair presence includes solo presentations at Art X Lagos, in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2018, Njia Ya Maisha at The Armory Show as part of the curated section, African Perspectives, in New York City, USA in 2016; Black Mamba at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as The End Of The Black Mamba at the LOOP Fair in Barcelona, Spain, both in 2015. Group presentations include SMAC Gallery’s booth at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, UK and Braverman Gallery’s presentation at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, both in 2019, Artissima in Turin, Italy, in 2016 and 2017, as well as the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and FNB Art Joburg, in South Africa, from 2015-2019.
Public and institutional collections, include: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) permanent collection in Cape Town, South Africa; the Studio Museum in Harlem permanent collection, in New York City, USA; the Lemaître Collection, in Paris, France; the Han Nefkens H+F Collection, in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kuona Trust, in Nairobi, Kenya; Scheryn Art Fund, in Cape Town, South Africa; and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection in Gibraltar.
Kabiru’s work is currently included in Matereality, a group exhibition at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa and was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape town, South Africa.
Kabiru’s work is currently included in the group exhibition Matereality, at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. (14 .02 .20 – 2 .08 .20)
Kabiru’s work was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa. (14. 02. 20 – 16. 02. 20)
Rebecca Anne Proctor | Harper’s Bazaar Arabia | Why Do We Need An Art Fair Dedicated To African Art? | 13 October 2019 – PDF
Roslyn Bernstein | Medium | Contemporary Art in Morocco: Everything but Sex, Religion, and the Monarchy | 8 July 2019 – PDF
Sarah Moroz | BlouinArtInfo | Othman Lazraq: A Dreamer for Africa | 31 May 2019
Killian Fox | The Guradian | The artist putting rubbish to visionary use – in pictures | 3 November 2018
T Kermeliotis | CNN | Artist’s spectacular glasses ‘give trash a second chance | 11 December 2017
Leila Leiman | Mail & Guardian | Rubbish puts art in its place | 22 August 2014
Lily Kuo | Quartz Africa | An artist remembers Africa’s disappearing “Black Mamba” bicycles with his own whimsical designs | 19 July 2016
Sean O’Toole | Wanted | Armory Show shines its spotlight on Africa | March 2016 – PDF