Nedia Were is a self-taught contemporary visual artist, who was born and raised in Kenya, where he currently resides. His initial passion for art was cultivated during his childhood, where he started drawing characters he observed in cartoons, com...
Nedia Were is a self-taught contemporary visual artist, who was born and raised in Kenya, where he currently resides. His initial passion for art was cultivated during his childhood, where he started drawing characters he observed in cartoons, comic books, and newspapers. As a teenager Nedia continued to pursue art as a Signwriter, where he developed his own style of Signwriting. A major inspiration in Nedia’s style of painting was inspired by his grandfather’s love of reading newspapers. Nedia was intrigued by reading the events and topics covered in these papers, he found a deep connection with the events reported in the news. Nedia continuously felt an urge be part of the solution for social and environmental issues and provide additional outlets as a voice for the disenfranchised in the society. In reaction to these feelings, Nedia decided to create art that promotes internal and external dialogue on societal shortcomings. Were’s artwork is a visual response to the discourse surrounding representation of African figures within the visual arts, especially within art learning institutions and art history. The artist interrogates traditional notions of beauty and challenges western ideas of modern beauty within the canon of painting, with a specific focus on figurative paintings and portraiture. The human figure is a recurring motif as he reflect on beauty, taste, politics and the society. Were reimagines art history by placing his subjects in positive natural environments, often enjoying roaming within the frame and juxtaposed against elements of nature. The natural environment in Were’s subjects find themselves in a representative of fluidity, growth and rebirth of the African figure within the visual arts and the canon of portraiture.
Robert van de Graaf