James Kitamirike.

James is a self taught Ugandan artist who was first recognized by his grandmother while he was still a child.  Continuing as a commissioned portrait artist, he quickly expanded his technique and vision to become a noncommercial artist.  This path, however, was interrupted when Uganda fell into political turmoil in the late 1970's.  James moved to Kenya and later to the United States, where he continues to let his East African roots shine through his art.  Interested in abstraction and

realism, he (along with several other Ugandan artists) began combining the two techniques together.   The visual results, combined with African subject matter are unique, offering an aesthetic sensibility that incorporates Renaissance style realism with contemporary western abstraction.

James Kitamirike

Primarily a self-taught artist, Kitamirike was born in the United Kingdom, and raised in his home country, the East African country of Uganda. Sketching by an early age, Kitamirike’s talents were first recognized by his grandmother who supported and encouraged his development as an artist. While in Uganda, the artist became a skilled and sought-after portraitist, receiving numerous commissions from public figures, politicians, and dignitaries. In the 1970’s, political strife forced the young artist to neighboring Kenya where his work was influenced by the diverse culture he found there. The Maasai tribe became one of Kitamirike’s favorite subjects for much of his early work. Experiencing their power, grace, beauty and pride left the artist with a lasting respect for the Maasai culture.

Education and Biography

Through a variety of mediums -- oils, and acrylics on canvas, and combined paint and stains on wood panels, the artist’s work expresses both his cultural past and present. Kitamirike’s imaginative and original Synthesism -- his unique harmonizing of divergent styles within the same piece -- represents a striking innovation that is uniquely Kitamirike. Collected through galleries in East Africa and the U.S., Kitamirike’s work now graces private collections and public institutions there and in other parts of the world. The artist also supports selected charitable organizations in the U.S. and Uganda by contributing some of his unique pieces.