Black Mamba

11.09.15 – 13.09.15
Solo Presentation – FNB Joburg Art Fair
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
South Africa

As one of the leading names associated with Afrofuturism in Africa, Cyrus Kabiru has actively been pushing the boundaries of conventional craftsmanship, sculpture, fashion, design, art and photography since his C-Stunner series of eyewear attracted wide-spread attention from various creative industries in 2011.

Kabiru creates intricate sculptural works from found materials. His practice has rapidly expanded in recent years to include larger sculptural works and installations, such as his bicycle-inspired series titled; Black Mamba.

‘Black Mamba’ is the colloquial term for the fixed-gear bicycles that have achieved an iconic status in Kenya as an affordable and popular method of transport. As industrialisation spreads throughout the African continent, the ‘Black Mamba’ is being replaced by low-cost scooters and motorbikes. In memory of these beloved bicycles, Kabiru reconstructs the discarded and outdated frames and parts, transforming them into unique sculptural assemblages which celebrate the bicycle’s form and (non)function, whilst continuing the Kenyan cultural narrative of the ‘Black Mamba’. Kabiru’s film; The End of the Black Mamba I is the first in a series of short documentaries about the declining use of the ‘Black Mamba’ bicycle in Kenya. Following the successful premier of this documentary at the LOOP Fair in Barcelona, Spain, it is currently showing in Beyond Borders, the 5th edition of the Beaufort Triennial in West Flanders, Belgium.


Visit SMAC Gallery at Booth 54.

Cyrus Kabiru was born in 1984 in Nairobi, Kenya, where he continues to live and work today. Kabiru exhibits widely both on the African continent and internationally. In January 2015, SMAC Gallery presented his first solo exhibition in South Africa, C-Stunners & Black Mamba. Recently Kabiru’s work was shown in Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany and Africa: Architecture & Identity at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. His work will also be exhibited in Unorthodox at the Jewish Museum in New York, USA and in Lumières d’Afriques at the National Theatre of Chaillot in Paris from November 2015.

View artist page: Cyrus Kabiru