Born in Uganda, Kibuuka was a blossoming prodigy who began selling his painting to international collectors through local galleries at age 11. Protege to his brilliant late mentor and older brother Henry Lutalo Lumu, the artist shared a passion for the work of European art masters. From Henry, Kibuuka learned a deep respect for the achievements of realists such as Rembrandt, da Vinci, Rafael, and Michelangelo. This early passion found Kibuuka creating works such as 'The Royal Guardian' - featured on the cover of Kibuuka's Year 2000 Art Calendar. In this work, exquisite anatomical details capture the regal stature of a Maasai warrior. Spending six years in Kenya, Kibuuka made this legendary tribe a favorite subject for his early work executed in High Renaissance-styled realism.
As Henry exposed him to more modern Western styles, Kibuuka evolved to include impressionism and surrealism, infusing his deep love of human anatomy and natural form with a vibrant new energy. One result of this evolution is 'Ceremonial Dance'. In this striking piece, a group of young Maasai warriors dance proudly in precisely unified fragments of bold primary colours.
Continuing this use of figurative impressionism, in 'Baganda Dancers' human forms blend effortlessly with brave splashed of color to create unforgettable visual vibrations. Composed of mixed media and created with Kibuuka's unique fragmentation technique, the dancers spring to life with a radiant energy.
Although Kibuuka is equally fluent in oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencil, and mixed media, a favorite medium has emerged. "I love the versatility of acrylics. You can use them to create all kinds of interesting effects. At one end of the range, on paper, one can lightly apply a very thin layer to simulate watercolors. At the other end, as in 'Pure Innocence', I use the palette knife on canvas to create heavy layers of paint, imparting an oil-like impressionist flavor to a traditional African village scene.
Kibuuka hopes to provide inspiration for generations of emerging talent. "There are a number of African modernists who have emigrated to North America to develop their careers outside Africa," he says. "As we move into the 21st century, we are likely to see the expansion and maturation of the modern African movement in North America."