Michael Armitage

  • Michael Armitage (b. 1984, Nairobi, Kenya) examines different perspectives of reality in his large figurative paintings that reference current affairs, Internet gossip and exchanges and his history and memories of Kenya. Painting with oil on traditional Ugandan canvases, Lubugo, made from trees whose bark is used as blankets, the artist at once dislocated this tradition from its roots and locates his history in the painting itself. In applying the painting in successive layers, Armitage’s figures merge some into others, and disappears others completely—a technique employed to interrogate constructed truths that we are told. The landscape—the urban, rural and colonial—remains a central theme in his work. Using the landscape as a location but also a metaphor, the artist traverses sites of social and political trauma, specifically wealth disparities, violence and the harsh legacy of inequality between men, women, Black and White.

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Michael Armitage

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Michael Armitage (b. 1984, Nairobi, Kenya) examines different perspectives of reality in his large figurative paintings that reference current affairs, Internet gossip and exchanges and his history and memories of Kenya. Painting with oil on traditional Ugandan canvases, Lubugo, made from trees whose bark is used as blankets, the artist at once dislocated this tradition from its roots and locates his history in the painting itself. In applying the painting in successive layers, Armitage’s figures merge some into others, and disappears others completely—a technique employed to interrogate constructed truths that we are told. The landscape—the urban, rural and colonial—remains a central theme in his work. Using the landscape as a location but also a metaphor, the artist traverses sites of social and political trauma, specifically wealth disparities, violence and the harsh legacy of inequality between men, women, Black and White.