The forthcoming exhibition of paintings by John Kirby at Flowers Central focuses on recent works that develop his most celebrated themes. The complexities of gender, sexual orientation and race are explored with insight, painful honesty and profound emotion.
Kirby's moving and mysterious figures allude to uneasiness, guilt and repression. He paints sensations of emptiness and menace, in which the sinister sits alongside the familiar and religious repression, with its sexual discomfort, raises questions that are deliberately confusing. Yet the allure of the paintings is enhanced by the presence of the sinister, in the hidden, intimate, prohibited desires that Kirby delineates so well. He paints, with great beauty, the inner soul of humanity, coupling isolation and loneliness with social repression.
Kirby's new works show troubled and brooding faces as subliminal self-portraits. Internal conflicts are conveyed in the power of facial expression, as his content becomes much starker. These portraits are shown alongside his other evocative figurative work, whose haunting images contain penetrating and disturbing observations about the paradoxes of the human condition.
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