Carol Muthiga-Oyekunle is a Kenyan-American artist and accessories designer. Her work is influenced by a foundation in graphic design and career as a luxury accessories designer. Lolita Lorenzo (named for her daughters Chiara Lola and Siena Lorenza) showcases her multiple disciplines: eyewear, minaudière, jewelry, home decor, illustration and fine art. Carol is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London (MA Fashion). She lives and works in Paris.
“Her hair is her adornment and her clothing is her armor.”
In the works of Carol Muthiga-Oyekunle, women are portrayed as symbolic warriors, radiating strength and joy. Combining digital and mixed-media collage methods with photography and vivid graphical elements, the artist skillfully interweaves techniques to create bold and brilliant portraits of her female subjects. The resulting art depicts feminist themes from the past, present and imagined futures, holding up a mirror to a patriarchal society.
Muthiga-Oyekunle finds inspiration for her art in her daily life – from faces on the street to close friends and women she admires. Her experimental approach involves fusing disparate elements and styles into a cohesive whole— it’s this contrast that adds a touch of magic to all her art.
Recurring themes in the artist’s creative process are culture, tradition and Afrofuturism—the artistic and philosophical movement which envisions a high-tech futuristic African diaspora, where racial equality is a reality rather than an idea. The artist herself describes her subjects as “intergalactic”.
“My digital and mixed-media collages reference fashion editorial photography and iconic women, juxtaposed with bold, colorful botanical motifs that present the illusion of mythical, ethereal creatures. The central figure is depicted as the heroine. Her hair is her adornment and her clothing is her armor. Feminine themes of creation, motherhood, love, protection, wisdom and strength are the foundation of my visual art.
My creative process comes from how I feel my ideas can be best presented in a way that is relevant to the world around me, and that can withstand the test of time: merging my Agikuyu heritage, culture, sacred symbolical geometry, and Afrofuturism. I am driven by the notion of the Woman as a symbolic warrior—her battles often go unseen.”