Last week, I went to the San Diego zoo, and near the front gate were these scrap metal statues. Big ones. Tall, tall statues of people with strange apparatus on their faces. One with the head of a camel who was holding a stand-up bass. Inside the shops were more statues of different types of animals. Some birds. I think there was a giraffe somewhere…
But my favorite had to be a life-size statue of a gorilla that I found in the one of the shops near the primate exhibits. I almost wanted to reach out and touch it, but the cashier was standing right behind me.
These amazing statues are all the work of one Kenyan artist, Kioko Mwitiki.
An art student turned welder, one day Kioko was practicing welding bits of scrap metal together. A passerby asked him, “How much?” and the rest is history. An artist was born.
Today his sculptures are featured internationally. He has an installation of a life-size herd of elephants at the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and his work has been purchased by art lovers the world over.
For information and to see a selection of Kioko’s work: