This catalogue was published to coincide with the artist's solo exhibition Absent Friends, 12 October - 5 November 2005.
British painter 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.
The publication includes an introduction by Robert Heller alongside a selection of portraits by the artist.