Masquerade, 2013 signed 'A. Okello' (lower left) oil on canvas each 42 x 63cm (16 9/16 x 24 13/16). diptych (2)
"I do believe as an artist that the work must resonate with me first before it does to others."
Anthony Okello's works are characteristically allegorical compositions with a cast of animal and human forms playing out the local mythology he has collected. His most recent work reveals a shift towards more personal themes.
The diptych Masquerade was made soon after Okello moved to the outskirts of Nairobi. He refers to it as a reflection not only of himself, but of society in general - the changing identities, pretence and hiding of one's true self. The masked figures in the work meet the viewer's gaze confidently. Conversely, the unmasked figure seems unsure and ill at ease.
The artist's work has been published in the World Art Collection 1001 Reasons to Love the Earth and has been exhibited in Kenya, India and France.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As part of the charity auction of Kenyan contemporary art, Lots 1 8 will not be subject to Bonhams' buyer's premium and payment must be made directly to the African Arts Trust. The charity auction will take place on Monday 20 May at 7pm.