His paintings are collected by celebrity sports figures, actors, musicians, prominent business people and many who are simply in love with fine art. Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal and boxing legend Lennox Lewis, Pop and R & B icon Dionne Warwick, movie and TV actress, dancer and Oscars choreographer Debbie Allen are a few. It’s not hard to understand why. David Kibuuka's vibrant, colorful pieces depict unforgettable scenes, people portraits and abstract interpretations of historical and contemporary life in Africa, one of the world's most picturesque continents.
Women walking through the desert wrapped in vibrant patterned cottons, some swaddling babies as they move like gazelles along dry grassland. Warriors draped, beaded, and painted, preparing to pay tribute to their ancestors. Women steadfastly trekking for miles, with large food baskets and water pots perched on their heads; determined to quench the hunger and thirst of children and husbands. These are just a few of the scenes Kibuuka depicts with his expert use of oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencil, and mixed media.
Artistic, educational and personal journey
Born in Uganda in East Africa, Kibuuka started painting at five. At 15 he had already built a reputation as an exceptional artist. His talent and love of art led him to enroll in Kampala’s Makerere University School of Fine Arts, but the political turmoil and strife created by President Idi Amin’s rule forced Kibuuka to flee his home.
Between 1978 and 1980 the young art student sought refuge in Kenya, studying human anatomy, painting, graphic design and illustration at art schools in the capital, Nairobi. In 1983 Kibuuka moved once again, this time to Canada, where he found jobs with animation companies and studios .
Always looking for ways to stretch his artistic muscles, in 1988 Kibuuka enrolled at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto. There he studied animation and computer graphics, graduating the following year.
An advocate for charitable causes, between 1990 and 1993 Kibuuka supported a world-wide fundraising effort by UNICEF. Greeting cards featuring four of his images were sold internationally to benefit their children's foundation. In 2005, collaborating with World Vision Canada and Artistic Canada, Kibuuka produced images for posters sold to raise money for the "Hope initiative". The project provided prevention, care and advocacy programs for children and adults affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. In 2007 He founded the Lumu Kabasindi Foundation to directly fundraise for orphan children in Uganda. He continues to support several charities.
Art and Fashion
Kibuuka is the architect of Modern Batik Art Painting. Considered one of the founding fathers of the modern art movement in East Africa, along with his brother Henry Lumu, James Kitaminike and others, Kibuuka uses a signature technique he calls “fragmentation” to create textiles and art. The technique involves the breaking of an image into smaller geometric fields and then reassembling them into images that depict striking colors, motion and mood.
Using water-based dyes, wax and fabric, Kibuuka’s novel approach yields the control, detail and richness of acrylic and water-colors.