As an artist, the pictures he draws are things he sees every day. Violence, the police harassing people, daily tussles, hidden struggles, and people trying to find ways to make money and have fun. Ian wants people to see what he sees every day. Ian wants people to see how things are where he lives. Banja wants people to see the good times and the bad times he sees. He usually doesn’t want to bring out the struggles without including the happiness in them. It is not his aim to subject the black person to struggles and challenges only because that’s not what was meant for us. Ian Banja tries and depicts the struggles accompanied by joy, love, brotherhood, and sisterhood. He doesn’t typically pose his subjects; he depicts them as they are.
Everything that surrounds and interests him automatically translates into his pieces. He takes his time on the structure of his pieces so that he knows when someone uses his artwork, they appreciate the details and the glazing that went into it. Banja comes from a community where struggles are like the daily routine. Ian Banja started portraying the untold stories in his paintings to depict the daily struggles and to also portray and show the people in his community that the struggles don’t define what they are. That the struggles are just a challenge that makes us stronger in the end. The rainy days always come to an end. Ian comes from a family where he is the only artist. His Mom is the sole driver who enabled him to be where he is today as she supports him in every way possible.
Ian Banja is a self-taught artist born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. To learn and to succeed motivates him as he strives to be an outstanding and better version of himself. Ian Banja is renowned for an upbeat street style that is paired with detailed, technical, and aesthetic considerations. Through his passion for performing, he has embraced an interest in painting. As he tries to express the everyday tussles and challenges he witnesses. His subjects are diverse. But he’s repeatedly drawn to portraiture and the encounters his subjects find themselves in. Ian Banja works with his technique of painting, his touch, and his finesse in creating.
To him, great art is not only the creation of the original Image but also the result of significant technical and aesthetic consideration while making the final piece. Banja’s style is a personal journey toward his inner self. Ian has exhibited in South Africa with eclectica contemporary on a group show (Smoking gun)2021, at the Cape Town Art Fair2021. At the Joburg art fair2021. A group exhibition at Lorin gallery in Los Angles, California(femininity)2022. Group exhibition at Mitochondria gallery in Houston(florescence)2022 and the Hamptons art fair2022.