Jeff Wambugu was born in Kenya in 1975 – in Karura Location, Kiambu District – only a few miles from Nairobi.
Wambugu comes from a family of talent, with the Late Alex Mbugua as his brother. He joined the Banana Hill Art Studio in 1999 where he got a lot of exposure under the stewardship of Shine Tani. It was through Banana Hill Art Studio and Shine that Jeff attended his first workshop with the Kuona Trust in 1997.
His favourite subject is the African woman. Jeff’s women are not your regular dreamy male artists’ all curves and glitter. They are graceful rectangular blocks and at times not easy to differentiate from the men. Jeff says he is painting women expressing their beauty, their style and fashion and not for any wistful aesthetics.
Jeff’s preferred colours are white, just a little blue, a lot of yellow ochre and burnt sienna as used in this painting. He mixes his black from burnt sienna and blue and never uses black directly applied from the oil tube.
If people say that Jeff imitates Jak Katarikawe he is not too worried about it: “It is true”, he says, Jak is my mentor. The first time I went to Watatu Gallery what struck me most was the work of Jack. I like the way he uses white to harmonise his canvases and the way he uses his colours, is spiritual. I also like Michelangelo and Raphael.”