Steve Turner is pleased to present Mtaani, a solo exhibition by Nairobi-based Dickens Otieno that features new tapestries and sculpture made of woven strips derived from discarded aluminum cans. Inspired by Kenya’s weaving tradition and his mother’s work as a tailor, the sight of goods piled high in Nairobi’s markets, the contrast of urbanization and nature in Nairobi and the patterns of decoration that are ubiquitous in everyday functional objects, Otieno seeks to create objects of cultural significance that combine his respect for labor, skill and history with his desire to draw attention to the overlooked beauty of everyday Kenyan life. Mtaani is a Kiswahili word that means “in the neighborhood” and the works in this exhibition are from, about and for Otieno’s neighborhood.
Dickens Otieno (born 1979, Migori, Kenya, lives Nairobi) has had solo exhibitions at Circle Art Agency, Nairobi (2018 & 2020) and has had works in numerous group exhibitions and art fairs in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania Nigeria, France and England. Mtaani is Otieno’s debut exhibition in the United States and his first project with Steve Turner, Los Angeles.