The artist, Richie Njogu.
I first encountered his amazing works on social media; I had never seen vinyl used like that before. So I sought to find out who Richie is.
A true artist, Richie is an individual who loves the different, the naïve, one who can see things in an innocent view point and who needs to create. Stating that if he doesn’t, he goes crazy.
“I believe Music and Art helps develop character and skills in children as they grow up,” he says adding that he had a lot of such influences around him as a child. Richie grew up in a family full of fine artists, and there was always music playing in the house. What was available then were the VHS Tapes, cassettes and Vinyl Records of great music recordings.
“My grandfather owned the Vinyl Records, but it was a taboo to touch or be near his collection, I think that is when I first had an obsession for them, I just had to have my own collection, and have people stay away from that too. “
On asking about his specialty in art, Richie says he believes an artist should do what comes naturally, what one can do with ease and to the best of their ability. “And for me,” he reveals. “It’s doing pencil and charcoal sketches and working with Vinyl Records. I have worked with other mediums before but those have stood out more for me.”
Next year, Richie wants to move onto digital art.” I have more ideas than I can draw or express with the current traditional mediums, so I believe this provides me with more avenues to express some of those ideas. I will be able to explore more ideas and opportunities when it comes to my sketching and painting. I guess we will see how that works out eventually.” Is his word
About art school.
I asked Richie if he took any art classes. “Yes, I have taken art classes. I did some Art and Craft classes in primary school, back when it was still in the curriculum, and also through my high school, and from that I just progressed.”
Richie credits some of his recent creations like working with Vinyl Records, or doing the scribbled pencil sketches to “Spontaneous Creativity”. He affirms that it’s all about exposing oneself to the best things that humans have done and then trying to bring those things to what one is working on or doing or trying to communicate.
Art and the bills.
Richie Njogu is a testimony that art can pay the bills. “ This year things have started picking up a bit, the first piece I sold this year was a piece done out of Vinyl Records, which went for about 300 USD, that was in February. That was the first time I presented the technique to the public, and their reaction of it was great. That was when I realized the potential it had.” He asserts.
Since then, the most expensive Vinyl Record piece he has sold went for 4,000 USD, at an auction in the month of September. Richie has sold more pieces this year, in a month by month basis, than he had previously, and with that he has been able to make it a full time career.
He believes it all boils down to marketing and talking to the right people in the field, and also giving people something they will appreciate, because those are the same people that will share and buy. It doesn’t make sense to do art just for the sake of it and have it pile up in your space for nothing.
Richie believes art is a growing industry, with a lot of opportunities to venture into or take advantage of.
“Records and Resin” the show.
This is a joint show by Richie, Cleophas Ondula, a Sculptor in Nairobi and Midi Minds Kenya. To be held at the Fundii Centre for the Arts in Muthaiga.
The show will feature Cleophas sculptures, Richie’s Broken Vinyl Records pieces and music by Suraj Mandavia and Dylan Sejpal, a group of DJs here in Nairobi.
The show opens on the 3rd of November, for 6pm till 11pm, and is bound to be a great experience with great art, music, food and amazing individuals. Entry for the opening is 2,000 Kenya shillings.
The space will then be open for viewing of the artwork and interaction with the artists, at no cost for the month the exhibition will be running.
The vision behind “Records and Resin”
The idea behind this exhibition experience is to encourage a new approach to interpreting artworks, using technology to stimulate your senses of sight and hearing, in an immersive art experience of Sculptures, Vinyl Record Artworks and Music to accompany the pieces.
Apart from that, their plan for this exhibition is to offer the Arts community and Art Buyers works of art that are different from what they are used to, introducing them to works that are affordable and unique.
“Midi Minds Kenya, Mandela and I have given 300% effort for this exhibition, with months and months of preparation, and we are looking forward to an engaging and fun Launch Party.” Richie adds.
He expects to sell out all the artwork by the time the one month exhibition is done.
“I know the body of works is great, and I look forward to sharing them with the rest of the world.”