Born in DR Congo in 1964, Xavier Verhoest studied film editing in Belgium. In 1992, he joined Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as a volunteer and worked until 2003 in Palestine, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda etc.
Xavier Verhoest is the co-founder of Art2Be, an organization using art and expression as a tool promoting positive living and social changes.
For the last 10 years, he has engaged in numerous creative projects on identity, memory, culture and heritage in Kenya and Somalia.
In 2003, he initiates the project ‘Who I am, Who We are ’, an exploration of what it means to be Kenyan today using creative tools.
Between 2002 and 2012 he curated more than 100 exhibitions in Nairobi where he showed some of the most promising and prominent artists based in the region.
As an artist, Xavier Verhoest has created a broad range of work responding to the events, emotions, and relationships that he has encountered in war zones and in the margin of the society. Most of his works are evocative meditations on time and duration as well as the themes of personal and collective memory.
These are works that meditate on universal themes of mortality, fragility, and the natural world.
He has exhibited in Kenya, Ethiopia, Belgium, France and Germany.
Selection of exhibitions
2005 ‘Peace and war’, French Cultural Centre Nairobi
2006 ‘Avec l’espace pour commencement’, Espace Marcadet Paris France
2007 ‘Avec l’espace pour commencement’, Le Rustique Nairobi
2008 'Ailleurs, Art 1 Gallery, Brussels Belgium
2010 'Closure', Rahimtullah Museum Of Modern Art (RaMoMA), Nairobi
2011 ‘Des traversées, des songes’, with writer Jérôme Lafargue, Alliance Française Nairobi Kenya and Addis Abbeba Ethiopia
2011 ‘La Terre nous est étroite’, Roots Contemporary Nairobi
2012 ‘I only have what I can remember’, Contemporary Roots Brussels and Nairobi
2013 ‘In the silence of the confessional’, Framing art gallery Brussels 2014 ‘From the Internal’+ ‘Abstraction’: Circle Art Gallery Nairobi
2017 ‘Silence’, Wasp&Sprout Nairobi
2018 ‘Attraversare’, One Off Gallery Nairobi
2020 ‘Finding Places’, Wast&Sprout Nairobi
2021 'Closer', Circle Art Gallery Nairobi