English sculptor Rick Kirby started his career as an art teacher before quitting, sixteen years in, to focus on his sculpting. He has worked as a sculptor for the last seventeen years, at first carving in stone, but now exclusively fabricating in welded steel, mainly stainless.
Much of his work is figural, reflecting a fascination with the human face and form that has persisted since his time working in stone. ‘’It is the juxtaposition of steel in its raw form, cold-industrial, and the warm-human that my art breathes into it – that is my fascination.”
Although using the industrial medium of steel, Kirby’s pieces are intended to express elegance and grace, and guardianship. His sculptures are made of small pieces of steel welded together which Rick compares to pixels. It enables him to give nuance and feeling even to very large scale creations. A reviewer of one of his exhibitions noted that Rick’s sculptures “do not dominate their settings, but instead calmly watch over their environment with an air of gentle theatricality.”
Most of Kirby’s pieces are public commissions, and are therefore monumental in size ranging in height from one to ten metres. “Steel released me,” Kirby says. “It gives me the ability to go huge, on a scale that just is not possible with stone” Several of Kirby’s pieces are displayed in Westminster Palace in London and along the banks of the River Thames. His works have been unveiled by many dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Prince Edward.
We are thrilled to bring Rick Kirby’s work to this part of the world.