Introducing| Jonathan Fraser

art is more of a means of communication, it’s more than just beauty

Jonathan Fraser

Art is a form of expression that is at times misunderstood. However, for our featured artist today his art is everything but that. He was one of the main features at the recently concluded Anatomy of me showcase at the Art Space and it was quite a marvel. Without further ado we give you Jonathan Fraser: 

So who is Jonathan Fraser?

Jonathan Fraser is a person who draws, paints, sculpts, writes just to name a few activities that he’s associated with. He’s also a person who uses art as a creative outlet and aims to communicate through it.

I also don’t like being called an artist. I find the term a bit more limiting and constricting in today’s standards. Back then, the title carried more weight. It referred to someone with a set of unique skills in various fields such as painting, woodwork, sculpting and the likes. However, in today’s standards most people only associate it with painting which is only one of the things I do.

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How did your artistic journey start?

I started by having art classes back in primary and high school. Currently I am on my third year of campus in Kenyatta University pursuing Fine Arts.

What’s your inspiration?

My ideas mostly tend to come from communication between people. Various topics tend to bring out various ideas and emotions and I aim to capture that.

The music I listen to also has a major role to play. I am very diverse and have a very large collection in my laptop but currently I am listening to a lot of Isaiah Rashad and Charlie Parker.

What was your first ‘it’ piece?

It was a self portrait of me. It wasn’t exactly my first piece but it’s the first one that actually captured the essence and aura I intended to portray.

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So, Anatomy of me. Tell us a bit more about it?

It all began last year when I took some time off school to focus on my creativity. I did a lot of paintings and figurative work with the aim of capturing the human essence. There’s this writer who states: Art is there to make us feel less alone and that was the mantra I was on at the time.

So after some time I decided to approach Art Space. I did so via email and we had a few meetings with the owner and managers and we set a date and here we are.

How was the feedback and the reception?

Honestly, it was very positive. Not in the sense that a million people attended bit the ones who did had some really positive vibes that I really appreciate.

I got to meet Wambui Kamai who is the owner of the space and also happens to be a very good artist/ idol of mine. I also got to meet other awesome artists such as David Thuku and Longinos Nagila among others. Their feedback and pointers really helped a lot. The networking was really helpful in more ways than you could imagine.

Within the Kenyan industry what’s your 2 cents?

I’d love to see more art spaces that are accessible to artists of all calibres. I’d also love more appreciation for the cultural diversity that we have as a country.

I’d like people to understand that art is more of a means of communication , it’s more than beauty. We need more people to be educated in its value.

Lastly I’d love us to showcase more public art that’s Kenyan. Apart from a few sculptures and statues around, we don’t have that many Kenyan made art pieces for display or rather put up in public spaces.

To close us off, give us 5 random facts about you?

  1. I love cooking. That’s my thing. Currently I am learning some really awesome Chinese recipes and no lie I am the OG.
  2. I love dissecting films and getting beneath their subtle layers and euphemisms.
  3. I love my mum’s Biriani. I know it sounds cliché but by Jove her biriani is just on another level.
  4. My playlist is very diverse and expansive to the extent there are some songs I am yet to give a listen.
  5. Currently I am in love with the show Atlanta. There are so many layers to that show…(gets really excited)

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