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Shirt Biology

Brandt Maina (he/they) – RIOA wa RIOE — 


is an abstRact and absuRdist artist, performer and writer from Nairobi, Kenya. In the month of the year of our Lard, May 2020, they graduated with a BFA in Acting and Vocal Performance from Taylor University, a small conservative Christian University in rural Indiana. 

Simply stated, 

with a background in the arts, and fresh memories of being homeless in downtown Portland, Brandt is a tenderly traumatized queer who brings a strong collaborative spirit and gentle tenacity to ensure that every voice is heard (pberiodt) 



right at this very moment, 

they are working to produce a tv pilot for a series on their experience of the postmodern American dream, composing music for their Greco-African experience, Dionysian Rites, producing two plays, Occasionally Other People Come In and The Blooming CHAOS if a Hot Summer, developing their album, “she broke my G string”, 

all the while 

slowly releasing more than 8 collections/series of artwork documenting their experience as an immigrant applying for asylum status over the past year and a half, 

July 2021 to…



Once more

Rye Tear, Rai Music is pretty good actually 


Brandt is also taking a health equity class with Oregon Health Equity Alliance and advocating for at-risk and homeless youth and Our Experiences. And, lastly, when the opportunity presents itself, they love to share stories with new friends over cups of tea




“In a society that forces division based on differences in demographic,

I seek to unify audiences by outlining how,

despite our cultural origin and medium, 

the arts uniquely communicate and express the exact same human experiences

-- no originality, just iteration —


at the core of our humanity is the desire to be seen, known, heard, understood, cared for, and Loved.”


Brandt also goes by the name RIOA wa RIOE 

[Ri-Oh-Ah wah Ri-Oh- Ei] 

RIOA for short. 

The name means “Sun of the River” in Kikuyu.  



I also identify as an absurdist clown and would remind us all that we need not take ourselves too seriously. Formalities are for fools and egos for Kanye. 


Welcome to my digital journal
Delve as deep as you wish
All who return must leave an offering for the unknown gods


- All my love and light

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oil pastels

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