Thom Ogonga

As an artist, I try a little bit of everything but painting and print making make up the core of my practice.

I am interested in the daily happenings of the city I live in and even more fascinated by the nocturnal activities. All the things that colour the night; bar brawls, disco scenes, gambling, prostitution etc excite the artist in me.

My work is very figurative and representative of a “typical night out in the city” and is most often satirical of our hypocritical culture of being “responsible citizens” during the day and being the total opposite when the sun goes down.

I am also interested in identity and socio-political narratives & interrogations as themes of my work though on individual project basis. These, are mainly driven by the political situation in my country; bad governance, cronyism, corruption etc or our lack of a clear identity as a result of being Africans strongly influenced by colonization, religion and global consumerism.

In my current body of work, I have combined my ‘typical figurative paintings & drawings’ with hand written texts/slogans that are prominent in entertainment posters and spaces in both the city I live in and those I’ve been privileged to visit.

I am exploring consumerism and advertising, how we embrace slogans that glorify products and turn a blind eye on health warnings (true stories), how they affect our lifestyles and dictate our status in society.

Some of my recent projects include ‘Untitled’’ created for Stereotype Exhibition as a result of the post-poll violence that rocked Kenya in 2008, ‘Identity’ created for Probe in 2009 and ‘It’s My Turn To Eat’ created for Art & Graft in 2010.