Michael Soi is a Kenyan artist who grew up in the country’s capital, Nairobi, and studied fine arts and art history before becoming a full-time painter in 1995.
Soi is inspired by contemporary life in Nairobi. His work offers a photographic diary of the city, and is a satirical commentary on social, economic and political conditions and developments. His work explores relationships – across generations, between different ethnic groups, and more generally what he calls ‘the economy of love’, including commercial sex work and social interaction in the context of globalisation and consumerism.
A hallmark of his art is his outstanding imagination and strong style – colourful paintings with black outlines which are illustrative and playful but also make an important social and political point. Michael Soi is in a strong tradition of caricaturists who have documented Kenyan society since independence, bravely and humorously exposing the political establishment and social conventions.