Githinji Mbire recognizes that conditions in Africa have influenced his style, and what he tries to express in his paintings, are best described in his own statement: "Art making has always been an integral part of the everyday activities of cultural and ritual life in Africa. The spiritual emphasis of art has had such influence as to make the arts living monuments among Africans. There is no region in the world in which the human body receives such an abstract representation as it does in Africa. African art represents the living and the dead equally. This tradition breathes through and dominates what I paint. "Islam, Christianity, colonization and modernization have disrupted the old way of life and eroded the cultural foundations of traditional African art, while neglecting its role as a significant contributor to the birth of modern art. "It is this dichotomy that I deal with in my work. It is this that I am trying to change. My work embodies my heritage and the synthesis of African and European materials and techniques. "Images of power and invincibility combined with symbols of death, retribution and social intercourse are major influences in whatever work I do."

Mr. Mbire is a native Kenyan, now residing in Oakland. His works have been exhibited in Nairobi at the African Heritage Gallery, in the Netherlands, and more recently in the greater San Francisco/Oakland area. He studied in the Photography Art Program at Laney College in Oakland, and in the Fine Arts Program at San Francisco State.

Negro=Black=African 12' X 6' oil and oil sticks on canvas