Attaining a diploma in Graphics from the Creative Art Centre in Nairobi, in 2000 he received a letter from the New York Selection Committee appointed to choose works for a limited edition of postage stamps for The United Nations: “you, along with Vermeer and Matisse, have been chosen…”. This was a defining moment for Kimathi and for artists in Kenya, a recognition adding impetus to the rising tide of international acknowledgement of the extraordinary talent that had blossomed in the contemporary art of the region.
A committed and serious artist, Kimathi is always exploring; experimenting; searching for a better expression. Over the course of that search he has developed a considerable artistic ability: confident in line, composition and colour; profound in an expression elegant in its simplicity and in its honesty and camouflaged in a caricature-like reductionism rendering a deep and movingly empathetic portrayal of the circumstances of the common Kenyan: the suffering: dignified always, heroic even and without self-pity, privately worn and stoically bourne, as if simply the price of life; patient but, in the compassionate brushwork of the artist, transitory and redeemable. Invisible to the sleepy eye, this sensitivity permeates the entire body of his work.
All Kimathi's works demonstrate his compositional ability but it is with his Covid 19 series, and particularly his Papas series where a devoted hands-on father of three boys rues the “fatherhood deficiency” in the parenting of the average Kenyan male; that the empathetic artist emerges.
He exhibits regularly at One Off Contemporary Art Gallery and has shown at Heong Gallery, Cambridge, UK in 2017; The Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) on Cork Street in London in 2014; The Belgium Embassy Residence in Nairobi in 2013 and at Gazzambo Gallery in Madrid, Spain in 2010. He represented Kenya at the Dakar Art Biennale in Senegal in 2006 and has exhibited in Germany, Amsterdam, Italy, Austria and the USA.
His works abound in numerous collections the world over, including The East African Visual Arts Trust Collection, Nairobi, Kenya.