A major piece from the more recent end of the historical Here Lies project. It was painted around the same time as Malefact, and shares the strong spiral motif of that canvas - on this occasion, multiplied by nine. Visually it recalls Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting Starry Starry Night, and especially the way its starlight is evoked: as a ‘form constant’, light energy roiling the surrounding darkness.
The title however points elsewhere. It is a not-so-oblique reference to the famous Magritte painting The Treachery of Images, painted in 1948 - a picture of a pipe along with its paradoxical and much discussed inscription ‘Ceci n’est pas un pipe’ (This is not a pipe). Kieran references the Magritte as an example of what might be called conceptual painting, doubly puzzling in terms of what it shows and what it says, and the antagonistic relations in play between them. This literary/philosophical dimension is a useful starting point (there are others!) for approaching what Kieran as an artist actually does.
For the author of Here Lies is not really in the business of memorialising anything, least of all the Holocaust. Nor is he painting pictures per se so much as he is making paintings that think, doing philosophy in concreto - dealing with the big questions, figuring out the truth of things. There is after all an irreducible facticity to the materials he works with: a ground each of us instinctively - almost physically - apprehends, whether we like it or not.
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 166 x 166 cm