“Art is an experience with no formula”
In this episode Paul Onditi reflect and meditates on some big questions in the field of art. He talks about the encouragement he received from his mother in his early painting experiments (his first curator) and about how, many years later, his professors at art school didn’t show him how to paint, but created the conditions for him to find his own style. He talks about an artworld in which you either sink or swim, but at the same time, it is an artworld with no fixed criteria (what is good art?) that you as an artist can also shape and influence. He advises artists to be cautious with trends, but also suggests that they did not ignore them. This is a thoughtful and insightful series of observations on the perils and potentials of being a visual artist.
Paul Onditi is a painter whose works are deeply mesmerising and hard to decipher. Built upon a complex and labour-intensive transfer technique, in which photos, film and other found imagery are layered onto the canvas, these paintings evoke an eerie sense of loneliness. Yet they are compelling and compulsive, leading your eye further and further into previously hidden layers. His character Smokey, who often populates these strange landscapes, feels like a time traveler; like Paul himself, an observer and witness to the strange worlds that we live in.
Interview date: 20.02.21
Interviewer: Joakim Omwega
Production: Chris Njenga
Editing: James Muli
Host: Nduta Wangari
Post-production: Jacob Höfle