Sarenco L'Africano

2018

Installation, essay

Sarenco – also known as Sarenco L’Africano, Aziz Sarenco Sharif and Mau Mau Sarenco Gitaj – settled in the tourist resort of Malindi in the 1980s, where he married several times, invited numerous artist friends from Europe to join him, and promoted a lively exchange between this new Mecca of contemporary art in Kenya and the collecting scene in Europe and the USA. His network, which included the critics and curators Achille Bonito Oliva and Enrico Mascelloni, as well as his colleague, the artist Armando Tanzini, had a considerable influence on the perception and reception of so-called authentic African art in Italy. The ripples of the Italy-Malindi connection’s influence worked their way into the creation of Kenya’s first national pavilion at the Venice Biennales of 2013 and 2015.