Project Description

Nedia Were

Born and raised in Kenya, self-taught artist Nedia Were currently lives and works in Nairobi city. His desire to create art started during his childhood; he would copy cartoons from newspapers, magazines and comic books, recreating them in his own likeness and image. 

Were’s artwork is a visual response to the discourse surrounding representation of African figures within the visual arts, especially within art learning institutions and art history. The artist interrogates traditional notions of beauty and challenges western ideas of modern beauty within  the canon of painting, with a specific focus on figurative paintings and portraiture. The human figure is a recurring motif in his Were’s workas to reflect on beauty, taste, politics and the society. Were reimagines art history by placing his subjects in positive natural environments, often enjoying roaming within the frame and juxtaposed against elements of nature. The natural environment Were’s subjects find themselves in are representative of fluidity, growth and rebirth of the African figure within the visual arts and the canon of portraiture.

Select Exhibitions:

FNB Art Joburg, 2021, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town

Group Exhibition, 2021 / 2020, Little Art Gallery

Manjano Art Competition, 2020, Village Market

Affordable Art Show, 2020 / 2018 / 2020, Nairobi National Museums of Kenya

Bookbunk Art Auction, 2020, Nairobi, Kenya

Group Exhibition, 2019, International Schools of Kenya

Essence of Time Duo Show, 2019, Nairobi National Museums of Kenya

Group Exhibition, 2019, Arusha Cultural Heritage Center, Tanzania

Mentorship Art Program, 2018, Dust Depo by Patrick Mukabi

Group Exhibition, 2018, Mckinsey Mtaani Exhibition

Group Exhibition, 2018, Karen Country Club

Select Works:

Boy With A White Puppy
Acrylics on canvas
111 x 127 cm

Acrylic and oil on canvas
144 x 120 cm

Acrylic and oil on canvas
140 x 140 cm