“My influences are first and foremost anything I see and feel, and life encounters…..When I am working on the rough texture on my canvas it reminds me of the struggle we all go through and our inner strength and knowledge that we use to overcome our challenges.”
Ngugi Waweru is a multimedia artist born in 1987 in Mukuru, Kenya, but he grew up in Nairobi, where he currently lives and works.
Unlike most artists, who capture their art aptitude in their primary school years, Ngugi is a self-taught artist who mostly works with woodcut prints and mixed medium painting on canvas. He experimented with art only after observing his friends who had already graduated from an art college practicing art. Having already cultivated a passion and skill in art, Waweru resolved to embrace it full time. Growing up in the biggest informal settlement in Nairobi, Ngugi clung to art as a recluse from drug crime and unemployment. Along with his friends, he founded the Wajukuu Arts collective through which he mentors the youth of the settlement till date. In 2015, Ngugi emerged 2nd runner up in the Manjano Art competition. As a Wajukuu artist, the artist participated in documenta 15, Kassel, Germany, in 2022, and his selected sculpture was collected by the Neue Galerie in Kassel. The collective won the Arnold Bode prize 2022.