Alex Wainana is a self taught artist and has been doing sculptures for the last 12 years. Hooked up in art by Gallery Watatu former manager Ruth Schaffer, she encouraged him when she saw one of his first small metal sculpture. It was his turning point and since then, he has been growing into one of the best junk metal sculptor in the East African region.
With a touch of humor, Alex manages to blend elements of African culture and environment. Alex uses only recycled material found at junk yards, he breathes life into recycled metal in a most creative way. His work mostly depicts color earth ranging from animal heads, fishes, insects and sometimes even sacred personalities.
Born in Thika District central Kenya, Alex took formal education from primary, O level then enrolled in a technical institute for four years under Agricultural Engineering and mechanics and craft. “This is where I learned about different types and qualities of metals and their characteristics plus lathing and welding. I made caricatures for the magazine of the institute, and I kept the notice board filled with daily cartoons on daily life.
With no formal art class, at least I learned the basics of how to work the materials needed to produce sculptures. In 1997 I took the bold step to offer a small painting to the National Museum in Nairobi, where I saw an art piece crafted out of metal. That triggered my attention, and from then I started experimenting with metals, and how to use them for the creation of art pieces.
Throughout the years I have done several Art Exhibitions within and around Nairobi, like The Ramoma, annual Art sale at the International School of Kenya, Mattbronze in Karen, Le Rustique restaurant in Westlands plus Diani Art Gallery where I still have some pieces on display.
What inspires me?
The surroundings, life around me. The buzz and the dynamics drive my inspiration.
Place of Birth: Thika
Date of Birth: 1972
Style: Sculptor, junk metal
Marital Status: Married, with two kids