This monograph was published to coincide with the artist's retrospective exhibition The Living and the Dead, 13 January-15 April 2012 at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
The exhibition was the first major retrospective of the work of John Kirby, an important contemporary artist who was born and grew up in Liverpool. His paintings and sculpture explores the themes of gender, religion, sexuality and race and Kirby's complex relationship with each of them.
The exhibition comprised of over 50 paintings and 10 sculptures spanning work from over three decades, from early paintings made at the Royal College of Art in the 1980s to more recent works.
Solitary figures in strange worlds dominate Kirby's work; this has led many people to compare his practice to that of Réne Magritte. However, Kirby cites the Polish-French Modern artist Balthus and American realist painter Edward Hopper as his major influences.