Cyrus Kabiru's C- Stunners series -- sculptures to wear that are inspired by the motif of eyewear -- took the attention of the art and design world by storm in 2011. The series of dozens of eyewear made from bits and pieces found in the slum, constructed with consumate craftsmanship, eachof them alluding to a personal or Kenyan history-related narrative, put Cyrus Kabiru on the map of the young creators from Africa whose practice gets a large and interested following.
The C-Stunners series appear as a powerful evocation of the changes happening in Nairobi and putting the city fast into an unknowable, emphasizing the tension between traditional life and a contemporaneity where youth culture finds ways to express itself. It also seems to say that the World needs to put on new glasses to look into Nairobi, Kenya and maybe Africa’s present and future.
Since then, Cyrus Kabiru has been pushing the boundaries of sculpture, fashion, design, art and photography, commenting and questioning the life lived in the contemporary African metropolis, including in the first place in his own city of Nairobi.
The photographic series exhibited in ‘African Renaissance’ was created in Lagos in 2014 during the Lagos Photography Festival. In these, Cyrus poses as the main subject wearing a selection of C-Stunners, each alluding to his experiences as a Kenyan, living in Nairobi. The strong images that emphasize the gaze of the model are layered with meaning without losing their immediate impact, like a metaphor of contemporary Africa looking at the world and vice-versa.
Lagos Vision Series, 2014
C print mounted on aluminium frame - 80/53cm | Series of 5 - Copyright: the artist