Jimmy Kitheka | Kenya

“ I try to reimagine myself living in that time through my paintings. Some ideas came from the dreams that I have of me experiencing the same adventures they had back in the days”. 

Jimmy Kitheka was born in 1993 in Kenya, he currently lives in Ngong and works in Nairobi, where he’s studio is located. 

He studied graphics design in 2012 and worked as a graphics design lecturer in 2014, at Venture institute for a year before becoming a full time artist in 2015, under the mentorship of a well know artist in Kenya: Patrick Mukabi. For five years he worked together with Patrick Mukabi at his studio, until Jimmy together with some of his colleagues opened his own atelier, The Hive Art Studio. Jimmy is an impressionistic artist captivated by landscapes and oneiric scenarios; through shadows and blur effects Kitheka evokes a sense of nostalgia. His work allows us to travel back in time to stories told by his grandfather and father. Stories that retrace life in Nairobi in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

His main medium is oil paints on canvas and chalk pastels when sketching on paper, both portray effects on a painting or a sketch, to look retro or like a memory. He’s also used acrylics and charcoal in some of my artworks. He has been involved in workshops working with both kids and adults from different places in Kenya, such as Olepolos primary school (Maasai school, kajiado county) where he led a workshop for a year under a UN based organization called Artist for development and Rika workshop where he worked with different artists from different generations and learned a lot of different art ideas using oil paints and other mediums.

After working as a professional artist and Art Teacher for five years and having his first solo exhibition, he started teaching his first adult oil painting classes and supervising on professional internship programs with institutions such as Kenyatta University. It is through these classes that he has learned to inspire others to freely express themselves and portray the world as they truly see it. Jimmy is a young artist with a promising future, strongly building his reputation as the Keyan Edward Hopper.

Kitheka’s works were exhibited in a group show at the National Museum of Kenya. Recently, his first solo exhibition was organized by the British Cultural Center Nairobi, also known as the British Institute of East Africa (BIEA). Jimmy has participated in many group exhibitions in Kenya and abroad.

More recently, in 2020, he took part in the group show titled The Sanaa Art Exhibition in Adelaide (Australia) and in the online exhibition Jimmy Kitheka: Unfaded Times II: Buluu (Blue) Shadows Series, organized by AKKA Project, Venice. 

Solo exhibitions


2021
AKKA GALLERY, ”Unfading Times II Art Exhibition, “Venice, Italy

2019
British Institute of East Africa, “Unfading Times Art Exhibition”,  Nairobi, Kenya

Group exhibitions

2022
African identities, AKKA Project Venice, Venice, Italy

2021
Between the Zones Exhibition, Kenya National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya
Alliance Francaise, Manjano Annual Exhibition, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya National Museum, Affordable Art Exhibition, Nairobi, Kenya

2020  
Art is a gift art Exhibition, The little Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya 
The Collective Restaurant, Vernissage Art Show, Nairobi, Kenya

2019
Essence of Time II, Kenya National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya

2018
Mini Exhibition, United Nations, Nairobi, Kenya
Tafaria Center For The Arts, GALLERY OPENING, Nairobi, Kenya
International School of Kenya, Annual ISK FOTA ART SHOW,  Nairobi, Kenya

2017
AARTC, African Art Collective Exhibition, Nairobi, Kenya
Kuona Collective Art Center,  National Art Fair exhibition,” Nairobi, Kenya

2016
Annual Affordable Art Show, National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
The GoDown Art Center,  Annual Manjano Art Exhibition, Nairobi, Kenya

ART RESIDENCIES 

2018 
1 Month Artist Residency, Tafaria Center for The Arts, Nairobi, Kenya

Selected Works

Highlights

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