Deb, Drosie and Me at The Palace
Large Ladies in Athletics
Poclain Excavator
East African Bus History
Heavy Machines in The Garage
Large Ladies Community
Locomotive Workshop
Born 1960, Kisii, Kenya
SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2003 Laboratorio di Richard Onyango, Atelier del Baglio di Stefano Gibellina, Italy

2001 Franco Cancelliere Arte Contemporanea, Messina, Italy

2000 A Bonito Oliva, Fabbrica EOS, Milan, Italy

1999 Richard Onyango, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland
Richard Onyango, Fabbrica Eos, Milan, Italy
Richard Onyango, Franco Cancelliere Arte Contemporanea, Messina, Italy

1992 "The African Way of Painting" Richard Onyango, Gallery of Contemporary East African Art. Nairobi, Kenya.
Fondazione MUDIMA, Mailand, Italy
Salvatore Ala Gallery, New York, USA

1991 One man exhibition, Malindi Art gallery, Malindi, Kenya
Artifico & Artefatto Gallery
White Elephant Sea Gallery
Wild Side Shop, Malindi, Kenya
GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2005 "Arts of Africa", Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, France
"African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection", Museum of Fine Art Houston, Houston, USA

2004 "Africa Remix"(travelling exhibition), Art contemporain d’un continent,
24 July 2004 – 7 Nov 2004, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
10 Feb 2005 – 17 April 2005, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
15 May 2005 – 20 Aug 2005, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris,France
Feb – May 2006, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

2003 "Meridiana Immaginaria", Galeria Eclettica, Milan, Italy
"Dreams & Conflicts", 50th Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy
Nairobi Serena Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

1999 "La Tua Africa", Monte Di Pieta, Messina, Italy
"Africa Nera Cuore Rosso", Museo di Rosignano Marittimo, Italy

1996 Neue Kunst Aus Afrika Im Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt., Berlin, Germany

1995 "Seven Stories about African Art", Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK

1993 "Presenze Africane", Artisti stranieri in Italia, Umbertide, Rocca Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea.
Perugia, Italy

1992 Wild Life Clubs Kenya Competition, National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya
"TER", Contemporary Art Gallery, Termoli, Italy
Domus Jani, Istituto Internazionale d'Arte Totale, Illasi, Italy
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2005 "African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection", exhibition catalogue, published by Merrell

2004 "Africa Remix", exhibition catalogue, published by Hatje Cantz

2000 "La Tua Africa", Citta Di Messina, Monte Di Pieta, Richard Onyango p.101-113
"La Tua Africa", Lucio Barbera, text in Italian p.13-32, Adriano Parise Editore

1999 "Neue Kunst Aus Afrika", Im Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany
"Contemporary Art of Africa" Onyango by Emmett Williams p.159-161, text in English, edited by Andre Magnin & Jacques Soulillou, publisher Harry N Abraams

1996 "Kunst Aus Kenya", Sieben Ostafrikanische Maler, Richard Onyango p.34-40, text in German, Bernd Kleine-Gunk, Graphium Press

1994 Richard Onyango, "The African Way of Painting", book, texts in English, 130 pages
Vehicules, Vessels, Trains & Planes, Afriano Parise Stampatore

1992 Malindi 1988-1991, A Poem, A Novel, A Movie, Illustrations by Richard Onyango, text in Italian, English and French, 60 pages, Sarenco, Adriano Parise Stampatore
For the first thirty years of his life Richard Onyango supported himself through a remarkable range of occupations—sign-painter, bus-driver, woodcarver, carpenter, fashion designer, furniture maker, farmer, animal trainer. He was born in the western highlands of Kenya, near Lake Victoria; while he was still very young his family moved to the developing costal regions. His father worked for the Tana River Irrigation Scheme, and Onyango became fascinated with the signs of industrial development in the African landscape: trucks, tractors, bulldozers, planes, etc. As a child he recorded such impressions in a series of sketches he called "photo pictures" of "whatever my eye could see." He has explained further, "To keep things properly in mind I had to draw them since I didn’t have a camera to record what I would like to put in memory."

These elements are still present in Onyango’s paintings today. He frequently chooses to depict situations that waver between the exaltation of imported technology and its fragility. Accidents, warnings, calls for prudence reveal a world constantly threatened by disaster and the unforeseeable. Like many contemporary African artists, Onyango’s pictorial language is characterized by its great legibility. Rather than evidence of primitivism, this legibility demonstrates the importance Onyango accords to representation as a means of direct communication. The unreal theatricality of his work similarly engages the spectator: the distortion of perspective and form and the moody tonality of the heightened palette dramatize the painting’s relationship with the spectator, who in turn becomes a helpless or complicit participant in the events described.
This psychological tension is notably present in the paintings that Onyango dedicated to his relationship with Drosie. White and curvaceous, the young woman is represented in imaginary or real situations that compress all the fantasies that Africa projects onto the West. Whether depicting the couples’ alternating domination and submission or the fascination exercised by a life-style synonymous with luxury and wealth, Onyango succeeds in inverting stereotypes and denouncing their inherent violence.

The above description is courtesy of Andre Magnin, Contemporary African Art Collection, Geneva