In his “negative” paintings, the artist reverses the nature of illumination by painting shadows with stark light. Kirkham seeks a space which is specific to painting by avoiding the use of models or reference photos. They are painted mostly from the imagination, drawing from a mixture of fantasy and reality.
Michael Kirkham’s paintings depict environments populated by figures drawn from both his imagination and memory. He chooses to work without any models or references, including photographs, so as to create a space specific to painting. The results are frequently strange—compositions that embrace distortion while deliberately disregarding the “real world” and image reproduction technologies.