Muriuki’s attention to detail is particular and a necessary ingredient in his work. Through all this focus on the specific, there remains a bigger picture with its own distinct presence. A feeling of self within space – the loner – the observer – the one who is present and yet absent, a sense which tends to linger throughout his works.
“What is contemporary African photography?” The question should really be: “who is James Muriuki the photographer?” The days of pigeonholing “African art” must end. It narrows the expectations on artists from Africa. Muriuki is an artist whose images do not make sense only from within an ‘African’ context. When will the work start speaking for itself? Are we doomed to this fake hype, where “Contemporary African Art” exhibits continually perpetuate a stereotype - constantly rekindling the ‘explorers’ perspective on what or who is African?
Muriuki’s work crosses boundaries. Geographic locations are ignored, instead spaces are deeply explored; here experimental work prevails. The photographs remind the viewer that things are moving, changing, transforming – becoming present and disappearing. Stuffed into one capsule; the shutter - the lens - the camera - the digital print, right here, in front of you.