John Kirby's paintings typically reflect complexities of gender, sexual orientation and race with insight, emotion and painful honesty. In his most recent series, Ghosts, Kirby makes novel moves towards sculpture, creating small, subtle ceramic portraits that still reveal traces of his familiar themes.
In Kirby's new, mysterious and deeply ambiguous works in Ghosts, internal conflicts are conveyed through facial expressions and body language. Much sparer than his previous paintings, these recent works appear naked, bare and truthful. Yet the bleak, wistful gazes of Kirby's Ghosts continue to communicate the emptiness and menace intrinsic to Kirby's fascination with the paradoxes of the human condition.