Born 1980 in Mombasa, Kenya
Lives and works in New York, USA
Growing up in a strict Muslim household Uman stole interstitial moments of creativity as a child. With a childhood and adolescence spent in Kenya and Somalia, before migrating to Europe, and later settling in the United States, Uman’s currency is of nostalgia and memory, in her words ‘I always go back to the same colors I remember growing up’. Emotion, as expressed through her vibrant palette, is rooted in visceral and poetic autobiography. The earth-toned memories of a Kenyan youth seep back into the work in tacit ways, blending with expressionist colors, movements, and abstract forms that emanate from her current locale. Uman’s works, rendered in painting, collage or sculpture act as a meeting point between her past and present: Somalia at the dawn of war, the vibrancy of Kenya, and the seasonal nuances of upstate New York.
Uman, Self portrait number 9, 2019, Oil on canvas, 7 x 7 feet, Courtesy Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris