Self-interview with selfie – Niall Kirby, artist

We copyrighted the idea in 2012. The concept is simple. We identify emerging creatives, interesting people who we believe will be captivating to read about. We invite people to interview themselves and to take a selfie. The self-interview with selfie was inspired by an empirical tool specifically for use in memory studies research. Our idea was developed to overcome some of the practical limitations of one-to-one interviews and address a new type of journalism. We ask queer creatives & interesting people to interview themselves. The manner can be through storytelling, diary-keeping, questions, images, sound or any other meaning of representation. We believe it is interesting what our guests wanna tell people about themselves avoiding the intrusion by another person. Today we invited Niall Kirby.

Do you paint women?

95%, if not more of my collectors and followers are male, I tend to draw most of the time men. As part of my first exhibition, I included all forms, male, female, and groups. One of my favourite pieces was a commissioned piece I did of a trans female to male. It has to be one of the most beautiful and exciting pieces I have done to this day.

Have you considered painting non-sexual scenes?

I have created quite a few non-sexual pieces. Most of them have been paints on canvas. Two works of the London skyline, made by me, sit in a Hilton hotel. Another one that sits in someone’s apartment in New York is a stunning deer. Other less sexual drawings I have created on maps are portraits of older men; I love drawing details such as beards and wrinkles.

Do you match body parts to the geographic features on the maps?

This is something I do not match up, however, looking at my work you will notice that most of my drawings naturally match up with the maps. Roads on the maps look like they are veins running through the body. I guess the drawing and the map I pick are just supposed to be.

Have you considered using colours other than black?

When it comes to using the maps I like to stick with the black Sharpie. Due to the roads on the map have colour, I like the drawing to stand out. Also, I believe black is very classic and works well in most frames and rooms. I have, however, created collections around the same time as London Pride with the profits going to a charity where I used colour. I was also lucky to work with Vinegar Strokes from Drag race UK on a collection, and every piece has red lips.

Do you have a favourite physique for your models?

Since I was at art school at age of 17 I was obsessed with the human body. I love how we all wear jeans and a T-shirt but underneath the clothes, we are different. Some of us have scars or birthmarks and we are all different sizes and shapes. Most of us when asked if we have something we do not like about our bodies we can answer without thinking about the question. But that one imperfection is what makes that person unique. With that being said, I love to draw all body shapes.

Is there any erotic content you wouldn’t feel comfortable using?

I have always wanted to be as commercial as I can be when it comes to selling my work. However, I love nothing more than being able to shock and invoke people’s emotions and dark sides. So I am open to drawing anything and everything as long as the model is over the age of 21.

Which celebrities(if any) have you considered for your work?

I would love to work with a couple of celebrities, like Kanye West and Billie Illish. I have been lucky to have my work catch the eye of a couple of celebrities here in the UK and America that I have done commissioned work for.

Artwork by Niall Kirby

Which is the hardest(lol) part of the body to do?

I would have to say that the hardest part is not being able to get enough details to do the piece enough justice. I find veins, arm hair, and wrinkles on the face very sexy and only a few times I believe I have been able to capture this. So I would like to improve on this.

Are somebody shapes or types more difficult than others?

For me, it has to be bigger men, the bears, and the cubs. These are the types of guys I am really into. I just find drawing them doesn’t make them look as sexy as they are in reality.

Are there any self-portraits in your portfolio, and if not, why not?

Yes, When I turned 30, I decided to do a collection of 5 self-portraits. They were all completely nude frontals, I felt so free and excited, but at the same time, I was nervous. My work usually contains muscled guys, hairy bodies, and beards. And here I am drawing myself, pretty slim, the only hair I have on my body is on my head, my beard is patchy as hell…. but to my surprise, all the pieces sold straight away.

Niall Kirby is inspired by the up-cycling and recycling culture, as well as pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Banksy, he brings these homoerotic sentiments forward in contemporary statements by using media such as maps and pages from books to create a personal intimacy with the viewer.
His art evokes contemplation and discovery of self, which conflicts with the judgment and moral superiority one often feels when observing others.

Instagram @NLMKART 


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