Paintings on Labor

An Exclusive and Provocative Unveiling

Artist: Mcharo Mwakio
Curators: tictocmind™ Studios

This exclusive collection of ten paintings explores the theme of labor within a capitalist society. The individual in a corporate setting is central to capitalism. Is she free or chained? Is happiness and wealth an illusion? The value of these pieces will live on for millennia as they capture humanity’s experiment with labor, human worth and the deep emotional and psychological effect only art can capture.

Artist’s Bio:
Mcharo Mwako, 42 [Kenya]. My love for art took shape when I was 11. I had an art teacher who was very good in art. He inspired me and that’s when I decided my future will be in the arts.Mcharo Mwako I later joined Buru Buru Institute of Fine Arts, majored in Graphics Design and started a career in advertising. While working in the corporate world, I continued doing my own art.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have done a lot of art. After college I did a lot of work in watercolor, but after I discovering oil paint, I made it my go-to option. I am very much a self-taught painter. I train using Andrew Loomis material mainly. When it comes to painting, I am greatly inspired by Richard Schmidt. My style is largely impressionist and influenced by Schmidt’s work.

Commissioned work:
Theme – Labor
In 2020, tictocmind™ Studios [Baltimore], commissioned me to do 10 paintings. The theme was Labor. I was driven by the idea that there is more freedom and fulfillment outside of the chains of corporate labor. I started by drawing comparisons between white collar and blue-collar labor (in this case meaning skills-driven labor done outside the office set-up). I listed advantages and disadvantages, and everything that reminded me of the glory of non-corporate labor. Probably because I am an artist and art is classified as no-collar labor, it came intuitively and naturally. The following paintings depict the intensely individualistic, cutthroat, profit-driven dark side of corporate industry and elevate labor that is driven by passion, freedom and self-fulfillment.

*Curator’s note:
These works contain emotional provenance as opposed to historical provenance, i.e., the originating thoughts and feelings that drove the artist to create each painting. Seon Young Min explains that "emotions provenance recognizes emotions as an inevitable powerful human experience that influences our mind, body, and behavior..." An artist’s statement of the mindset or feelings that originated a painting is like an original thumbprint of their work.