JOSEPH MUNYAO BARAKA
11.12.2022 --- 12.03.2022
La Brea Gallery
TALE OF LEISURE
After his successful show last year with Danny First at The Cabin, Lorin Gallery is delighted to announce our first solo show with the brilliant Joseph Munyao Baraka, "Tale of Leisure" opening November 12th from 6pm until 8pm at our La Brea location.
Joseph Munyao taught himself how to make art; from a young age he loved to draw and would constantly be drawing. Inspired by pictures in books or magazines and advertisements although he loved drawing he never saw being an artist as a career option, but this never dissuaded him from his passion for creating.
“I've been doing art since I was a kid, so it's something I found and fell in love with as I grew up. I'm a self-taught artist and I learned from social media and through other things I was drawn to.” – Joseph Munyao
Kenyan artist Munyao began to take his talent seriously after people started trying to buy work he posted on Facebook. He began to make an income from this and it changed his mind about the direction he wanted to take his life in. At this point he painted only animals but soon started to include people alongside them. Munyao sees as much personality in animals, which feature heavily in his work, as he does in people. Although his art has progressed most of his human subjects will be accompanied by an animal, expanding on the character of the person he has chosen to paint, like a familiar or friend.
“When I'm painting, I get these crazy ideas and I merge these ideas together with the image of the person I am painting to create a kind of story. At the moment I start painting, I don't what the end result will be, it's something which comes naturally… It creates itself.” – Joseph Munyao
Colour is key part of this artists’ practice, although applied instinctively, there is a delicate balance in his vibrant pallet which includes blues, purples, hot pinks, yellows, reds and yellows. The brightness in these works feels like an explosion but it is meticulously balanced, as is composition and the humour carried therein. The colour in these works creates a mood that Munyao feels that, although it can be hard to define is key to his practice.
Munyao’s work is as surreal as it is figurative presenting the physical aspects of his subjects alongside the imagined and perceived reality of their personalities. This can mean a combination of technique, colour, pattern and objects. These varied aspects unify to communicate the essence of the people he has chosen to photograph and then paint, using the many parts captured in a photoshoot and assimilating them into one work.
Drawn to a wildness in a person Munyao’s subjects are irreverent and unapologetic, surrounded by ephemera that amplifies their personalities whether that is a handbag, a friendly cat, a smoking dog, evocative text or a pile of books. The spirit of his subjects is in every part of his paintings as they stare defiantly, or sit lost in the music on their headphones or hang back in a pair of sunglasses.
“It's all about a mood, I really capture and communicate a mood. Not one thing, but several things at once.” – Joseph Munyao
Munyao has exhibited at Miami Art Week with Superzoom art gallery from Paris(2021), BHM group exhibition with Ballon Rouge gallery in Belgium(2022), The Cabin in LA California by Danny First(2022), PM/AM gallery group show in London (2022), Eligere gallery group show in Seoul Korea (2022) / Korean International Art Fair in Seoul Korea with Eligere gallery (2022), Art Basel Paris with Lorin gallery (2022).
With "Tail of Leisure", Munyao diverges as usual in this current body of works to his imagined surreal worlds where his human characters and animal companions live oblivious to the seemingly crumbling world; happy, wild, crazy, exciting with the obvious outstanding marks that will not be drowned by imagination that you could peel to. Munyao believes we make our own realities and need to to promote our wellbeing.