John Doherty

John Doherty was born in Kilkenny in 1949. He studied architecture at Bolton Street College of Technology, Dublin from 1968 to 1973 and lived in Sydney for five years before deciding to pursue a career as an artist. Doherty still divides his time between Australia and Ireland, although the subject matter of much of his work belongs to the forlorn and crumbling remains of an Ireland that, though familiar, has been consigned to history. His realism is immediately attractive for its apparently benign normality; the abandoned corner shops and bars, the rusting petrol pumps, rotting boats and disused oil drums seem harmless enough, but upon closer inspection they assume a dark humour. Doherty’s images, coupled with the wry wit of their titles, point towards the human stories that exist behind the facades of places and things inhabited and used by many different hands over the years, at once a half-said and meticulous examination of the hidden and forgotten life of the past.

John Doherty was Artist in Residence at the National College of Art in Papua New Guinea in 1979 and has shown his work widely in both Ireland and Australia with exhibitions at Australian Galleries, Sydney and Melbourne; Contemporary Diversity, Cork; and the Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York. His paintings have also been selected for several Annual Exhibitions at the Royal Hibernian Academy. Doherty’s work is included in private collections in Ireland, Australia, America and Europe, and in the public collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Institute of Modern Art, Chicago; the Irish National Stud, AIB Dublin and London; and Artbank, Sydney.