British artist John 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. Kirby has spent his artistic career stripping away the defences behind which adults have learned to hide. His paintings describe, allegorically, the suffering of people squeezed into the straightjackets of religious, sexual and social norms.
Written by Edward Lucie-Smith, this publication is a comprehensive study of Kirby's practice and includes a preface by Robert Heller.