Image: John Kirby's Open Arms

John Kirby's Open Arms Walker Art Gallery Collection Acquisition

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

After first being shown in the modern section of the prestigious Walker Art Gallery in 2014, we are pleased to announce that Open Arms (2001) by John Kirby is now a part of their collection.

Having grown up in Liverpool, John has a strong connection with the city which has remained with him throughout his career. In 2012 the artist exhibited a major solo exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery and a short film entitled Son of Liverpool. (This link opens in a new tab was produced to give an insight into the city's influence on his practice. 

Kirby tackles the complexities of gender, sexuality and race through arresting and unnerving portraiture. Whilst many of his works are sublimated self-portraits, others nod to religious and cultural iconography, or act as coded memories of his own family. Kirby's surrealist style has drawn comparisons to Magritte, Hopper and Balthus.

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