Leo's Website

Leo Mativo


I am a vibrant fine artist living and practicing in Kenya. I am drawn to realist and expressive portraiture works and enjoy working with acrylic paints because of their wide range of technical ability and workability with various other mediums of texture creation.

I’m self-taught and a graduate of Creative Entrepreneurship by the Godown Arts Centre, Diploma in Architecture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and CopyrightX from Havard Law School with over 5 years continuous and intensive experience as a professional artist.

My influence has been growing rapidly and now – besides Kenya, I have pieces of art in the USA, Australia, South Sudan and Rwanda and I am constantly working to share my artwork with the entire world.

In my contemporary style that I call Impulse Expressive, I have adapted a much spontaneous approach that allows me to create texture on my canvas and apply paint using various techniques bringing forth vibrant breathtaking pieces of art that appeal to both sight and touch for my clients to engage with. I enjoy making beautiful artwork and I create these pieces to bring a strong, though silent at times, distinct sense of inspiration, hope and beauty to my audience and people in the spaces where my works are hung.

These pieces of art, which I started in attempt to create another way of consumption of my works of painted portraiture, use vibrant energetic colors within their composition and talent and skill in execution. This draws the observer’s eyes to the beauty of the entire composition and the various results of paint application and media results. Concurrently, your hands are strongly drawn to feel the texture of the work of art. The pieces of art are refreshing and original in their aesthetic quality and greatly enhance spaces in which they are hung.

In my realist works - where I try to replicate a person’s image from a photograph on to the canvas by drawing and painting, my style is technically identifiable by my approach and vibrant backgrounds. I have been working on commissions for the last 5 years and most people who have commissioned me to create painted portraits of people in their lives are looking for original handmade artwork from a good artist that’s vibrant and timeless.

 Currently: Taking painted portraits commissions, creating expressive artworks for sale, teaching children art as a transformative visual arts initiative seeking to empower young minds into creative professionals at Kabete Children’s Rehabilitation Centre with TAA arts organization.

 27th April 2019, participated as a panelist on ‘Entreprenuership and Self-employment’ during the joint Rotaract Fellowship with 17 Rotaract Clubs in Attendance.

 6th April 2019, Showcased/popped up at The Savannah Space Street Fair at The Node, Woodvale Close.

 15th June 2018, Certified, CopyrightX offered by Havard Law School.

 15th December 2017 – 18 th December 2017, Successfully finished a film workshop with Norwegian Film Maker Eilif Bremer Landsend at The Bus -The Yard, Westlands Nairobi in partnership with Cultural Video.

 15th November 2017 - 17th November 2017, Created artwork live, presented and exhibited at the end of ‘The young African Thinkers’ Convention which I was invited to participate as a representative of young African visual artists at the United Nations- Gigiri Nairobi, Kenya.

 June - October 2017, Interned as a photographer for Cultural Videos at ‘The Bus’ in Westlands, Nairobi – Kenya to learn about photography and videography.

 19th May -19th July 2017, Participated and successfully completed “Creative Entrepreneurship – Reaping the Value of Artistic Creativity” Course by the Godown Arts Centre.

 1st April 2017 - 30th April 2017, Exhibited artwork at the UN Recreation Centre in an exhibition organized to fundraise for the Mukuru Slum Art Club and the SouthB United Sports Academy under 11 girls team.

 7th - 28th July 2016, Participated in the Access Art exhibition by Fundii Centre for the Arts, Nairobi, Kenya.

 12th - 31st March 2016, Exhibited at the 2016 edition of the Manjano Nairobi Visual Arts Exhibition by The GoDown Arts Centre at the Village Market.

 19th February 2016, work was selected for the first 2016 Art Critic Forum- Paintings and Drawings that was Paneled by Artists Paul Onditi, Maggie Otieno and Peterson Kamwathi. The discussion was moderated by Artist Thom Ogonga.

 13th - 15th November 2015, participated in the ‘Wasanii’ collective exhibition at The Kenya Art Fair at Sarit Centre’s Exhibition Hall by Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts.

 31st July 2015, Certified, Diploma in Architecture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

 29th - 31st May 2015, involved with Artist Adam Masava in organizing and holding a fundraiser exhibition for The South B United Sport’s Academy’s trip to Stockholm Sweden for the Sordetalje International Football Cup at Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts.

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