A quick heads up from ExperienceLA. If you blink, this one week exhibit of wearable C-STUNNERS eyewear sculptures by 2013 TED Fellow Cyrus Kabiru from Africa will be gone, as it was timed to immediately follow the recent 2013 TED convocation. I frankly stumbled on this exhibit on Saturday, while eating lunch at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. I had a chance to discuss the exhibit with Ed Cross who curated the exhibit at the Frank Pictures Gallery, as to how Cyrus developed his unique artistic skill and how he was discovered by TED. The exhibit will close on Saturday, March 9, 2013 with an art talk and closing reception from 4 pm to 6:30 pm. As I understand it, Cyrus Kabiru will still be around. The Frank Pictures Gallery is open daily from 11:30 am - 6:30 pm for this exhibition. The rest of my C-STUNNER flickr pictures can be found here.
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing the C-STUNNERS eyewear:
The following are excerpts from the press release on the exhibit:
Kabiru has been creating his 'spectacles' since childhood. First as toys for himself and later for his class-mates as a way of bartering his way through school work. His passion for ‘glasses’ stems from his father’s phobia about them. As a child, the artist’s grandparents punished his father severely for losing a pair of glasses that they had made huge sacrifices to provide him with. When the young Kabiru began playing with his father’s glasses, he was told by his father “if you want to survive in my house you will make your own glasses”. Taking him at his word, the young boy embarked on what would become his lifetime mission to create eyewear out of “trash”. His father, bemused by the explosion of toy glasses became an unwitting curator, decreeing that his son should “only make the glasses when there is a reason” by recreating again and again the object of his father’s pain, and his grandparent’s hope, Kabiru began to create a body of work that would have symbolic significance well beyond his own family story, ultimately becoming a metaphor for the power of creative transformation both within Africa and worldwide. Kabiru has been featured in group shows throughout Europe and the Middle East including Istanbul Design Biennale, Istanbul, Perimeter Art & Design, Paris, Rosetta Arts, London, Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion, London, and upcoming shows in Dubai and Paris. His C-STUNNERS were recently worn by Bobby Womack on the cover of Clash Magazine’s December 2012 issue and he has been profiled by the New York Times (September 2012), The International Herald Tribune (September 2012), and Under the Influence Magazine’s Africa Issue (November 2012).
For more information about Kabiru’s work, you can watch the following video links below:
MTV Base - http://www.mtvbase.com/shows/touching-base/
Manufactured - http://vimeo.com/33167682
Ed Cross Fine Art - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3iWXSSj_6Y
A portion of artwork sales will be donated to the Kuona Trust, a non-profit dedicated to nurturing creative and intellectual development in children and youth by exposing them to hands-on art activities. Cyrus plans to develop a series of community workshops to educate youth in Kenya’s rural communities on the recycling of waste materials and environmental care while making art.
The C-Stunner Los Angeles tour is supported by Stunner of the Month, a monthly sunglass subscription service that is changing the way you see, and the way others see you. StunMo founders discovered and acquired some of Kabiru's work more than a year ago. As avid supporters of story-telling and bringing his creations to more people, they offered to put on a series of events while he is in Los Angeles to help one stunner from another. Stunner of the Month: It's not just a brand, it's a lifestyle. Start stunnin' today, go to www.stunnerofthemonth.com.
Cyrus Kabiru is represented by London based Ed Cross Fine Art who specialize in contemporary art from the African continent and its Diaspora. Further details at www.edcrossfineart.com