Born in 1960, RICHARD ONYANGO – one of Kenya’s most prominent artists - is younger than the other pioneer artists whose works have been shown at the Nairobi Gallery. However, Onyango is noted for his “retrospective works”, ie painting scenes from Mombasa Old Town as he imagines it was in l963 or the bus that took him to school in 1968. In fact, Onyango has had a fascination for buses and the brave new world of machines and vehicles of all kinds ever since he moved with his mechanic father from the Western highlands near Lake Victoria to the developing coastal region of Malindi. Using trash and scraps collected by street children, he even creates replicas of ferries, tractors and lifesized airplanes. Onyango confesses he always wanted to be a pilot, and the photo above shows him in the cockpit of one of his artistic creations. As a young man in dusty cowboy boots, Onyango had many careers including driving, farming, carpentry, fashion designer, wood carver, sign painter, jazz musician and animal trainer, before he started painting at the age of twenty encouraged by some of the Italian supporters of the arts at Malindi and a local businessman and art collector, named Feisal Osman. Having studied painting at the age of 16 he developed a vocabulary of “photo pictures” in his mind to which he still refers in his recent paintings. Later, as a young artist he met his European girl friend, a voluptuous Italian girl named Drosie and produced his most famous series of works on their brief love affair, which are like snapshots, or a slice of life during his more flamboyant days. Onyango has a remarkable following from abroad. He had his first exhibition in the West in l992 which had generally good reviews. His paintings have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2003, Africa Remix in 2005, in galleries and museums in the USA and UK, and in the contemporary African art collection (CAAC) In Geneva. He still continues to live in Malindi.