“Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. "I am inspired by the breadth of meaning that can be found in the word TOSKA, the notion that one word can encompass so much excites me and I will keep going until I can capture that goal, this is the definition of TOSKA-GO"
I was born to a Kikuyu family in Ol’Kalou, Kenya during a time of great instability within my nation, the observation of struggle characterized my youth. Endless tribal conflicts, political corruption, financial challenges, and health crises all compounded into a deep understanding of pain at a young age.
When I first moved to the states, I became acutely aware that Africa and my people had been relegated to a primal existence in the minds of most Americans. This became all the more evident when I began my artistic journey and found that our art had lost its true meaning in the hands of the west. The essence of African storytelling is the liberation of perspective and the immortalization of one’s spirit. It is through stories that we share our history, lessons, and traditions, and hold onto the memory of loved ones. Within a Western context, that part of African storytelling is missing.
Through my use of symbolism along with painting in a western canon, I seek to communicate the essence of African story-telling through a more universally understood language. My work at its core is an endeavor to connect, through narratives of addiction, racial injustice, and identity struggle I seek to create an interconnecting story titled “TOSKAGO” spanning the course of my life and across all different mediums to stand as a monument to the core of my people’s tradition and to alleviate that missing element.TOSKAGO CV