There are a few things that fascinate me in this life. I don’t want to get into detail because I’m sure you guys don’t want to know that I still binge watch Pingu during my days off just for gags (LOL) Anyway, apart from that I am sure that most of you have noticed I love and live music so today’s episode of discover is totally connected to my immense love for music.
It was mid this year when I discovered this phenomenal artist on my IG explore section. I remember vividly seeing a beautiful portrait of Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album cover and thinking to myself, “How can one person be this talented? How creative?!” It was a nice sketch detailed so creatively with broken pieces of vinyl records. My inner Kermit incited me to snoop or rather stalk this genius and see what other interesting findings I was in for.
His IG page had all these iconic portraits, mostly of pop, hip hop, soul and R’n’B artistes like Tupac, Aretha Franklin, Madonna all with broken Vinyl details and for some reason I started to critic his style. I wanted to find out why one would damage a record in the name of art, were the records he was using in perfect shape? Why Vinyl records? What had inspired his style? This is what led to our post today.
Below is a short write up Richie sent me answering all my questions. Do enjoy!
“Richie is an individual who loves the different, who loves the naïve, who can see things with an innocent view point and who NEEDS to create art, if he doesn’t he goes crazy.
I believe Music and Art helps develop character and skills in children as they grow up, and I had a lot of such influences around me as a child. I grew up in a family full of fine artists, from my relative to my dad, and there was always music playing in the house. What was available then were the VHS Tapes, cassettes, Vinyl Records, of great music recordings. My grandfather owned the Vinyl Records, but it was a taboo to touch or be near his collection, I think that is when I first had an obsession for them, I just had to have my own collection, and have people stay away from that too.
From listening to all that music, by the time I could speak, I was singing to Bob Marley, by the time I was about 6 years old, I could sing to Paul Simon’s entire Graceland Album, from watching his 1987 live performance in Zimbabwe, from my dad’s VHS tape. This is one of the most amazing album/concert, for me, ever. Not only is the music amazing, but some of the musicians that joined him on stage are royalty, with the likes of Miriam Makeba, Black Mambazo and Hugh Masekela among others. A powerful example of how music can move your soul.
So basically I had an awesome childhood, and some of those influences and interactions are what made me what I am today.
My style, inspiration…
I believe an artist should do what comes naturally, what you can do with ease and do it to the best of your ability, and for me that is doing pencil and charcoal sketches and working with Vinyl Records. I have worked with other mediums before but those have stood out more for me.
But for the future, and by future I mean next year, I want to move into digital art. I have more ideas than I can draw or express with the current (traditional) mediums, so I believe this provides me with more avenues to express some of those ideas. I will be able to explore more ideas and opportunities when it comes to my sketching and painting. I guess we will see how that works out eventually.
I have done several group exhibitions since last year 2015. They have been a great tool, in trying to understand other people’s reactions to what I do, they have provided opportunities to network with other individuals, who we have later done various projects with.
The most recent exhibition being the Records and Resin exhibition between Mandela Cleophas, a sculptor and I, held at Fundii Centre for the Arts in Muthaiga, over the month of November 2016. It was a massive success, and am looking forward to seeing what new interesting opportunities lie ahead, meanwhile, I will just keep doing what I do best.“
For your eyes only!
Follow him on Instagram to see this and more masterpieces!