A youthful Nakuru artist who depicted the positive aspects of lockdowns during the heightened Covid-19 crisis has gained international recognition.
The acrylic artwork of 23-year-old Emmanuel Theuri illustrated and portrayed a rejuvenated environment due to reduced pollution from air transport, massive traffic jams, and condensed marine activities.
Apart from the international acknowledgement during this year’s World Environmental day, locally he won the 2021 mask awards. Plus, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission competition tasked artists to depict and interpret a peaceful election in pictures.
Interviewed by KNA today at the Nakuru art gallery, the self-taught youthful artist said he has always trained his mind to see the positive aspect of all forms of disasters and calamities. For him, the limited human movements were a win-win situation for the renewal of the earth.
He said much as he has constantly sketched pictures that caught his teachers’ and classmates’ attention, he had not given his artistic talent the required devotion, until the lockdowns, when everything went quiet. And, he dedicated his abundant free hours to learning paintwork from the internet.
Theuri claimed his artwork is of a different kind, hence more noticeable compared to the other local artists who tend to draw similar items of animals, village huts, and skimpily dressed women.
Additionally, he noted that outstanding artwork has no competitors because it tends to arrest the attention of the viewers, even those who claimed not to have any liking for artwork.
Moreover, he said even the closing of the churches accorded the shepherds an opportunity to rest, and take walks in the woodlands as they reflected on their sheep.
However, he bemoaned the meagre payments that wananchi offers to artists, and appealed to them to bestow on them the respect they extend to other professionals because it takes a lot of time and dedication to produce a single piece of art.
He commended Nakuru county government for its positive intent of promoting artwork, and the opening of the art gallery, despite the few visitors.
Apart from that, he said there were several talented virtual artists in the county, but there was a need for the professional uplifting of their works, in order to earn a decent livelihood.
By Veronica Bosibori