John Kirby at Flowers

John Kirby is the subject of a stunning exhibition at Flowers on Cork Street until the end of the month.

Influenced by religious iconography, Kirby’s past two-decade paintings touch on themes of gender ambiguity, childhood anxieties and the dialogue between past and present.

The title of the exhibition, All Passion Spent, is taken from Milton’s dramatic poem or ‘closet drama’, Samson Agonistes.

Kirby’s enigmatic paintings depict mysterious situations often reflecting unhappiness and melancholic questioning. The works hint at charged, psychic dramas below the surface of mundane life.

Kirby’s figures reminiscent of naive art, have been described as sublimated characters, in which the themes of loneliness and the repression of emotion, often associated to homosexuality, are explored through symbolic representations and stories.

Image: John Kirby, 2017, Groom, Courtesy Flowers