Born 1988 in St. Catherine, Jamaica, Kimani Beckford began art as a youngster like any other child. He spent most of his childhood years in Scotts Pass, Clarendon where he attended the Garvey Maceo High School. There Beckford became known for his artistic flair which further confirmed what had already been discovered by his pure passion. His admiration of Marcus Garvey, Mutabaruka and artists such as Phillip Thomas, Vincent Desiderio, and Rembrandt has added personal and professional growth; so too did his enrolment at the Visual Arts School at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
During his tenure, he studied painting as major in art school and completed his BFA degree in Painting in 2011. In the same year, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture. Most recently his work was featured in the Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora(2016) exhibition held in Bristol, United Kingdom. In 2014, he was a recipient of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award for his submission to the Jamaica Biennial 2014 exhibition held at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Working mostly in paint media, Beckford explores the politics of race and representation in the contemporary context. Beckford lives in St Andrew, Jamaica.
“Although I have undertaken numerous projects and have worked with various materials and in many different settings, I prefer the usage of traditional media and other approaches from the ‘old world’ to create massive academic paintings that contribute to social commentary. My subjects are rather figurative and are often times placed in surreal environments.My creativity is fuelled by my environment, my experiences and the experiences of others. My main objective is to impact different cultures through my works while using it as a tool to document activities and personal views on reality.”