The Bull of Sheriff Street
By: Adrian Frazier
Adrian Frazier’s story about his friend John Behan is an informed, compelling personal account of this remarkable man. It gives focus and depth to the life of one of Ireland’s leading visual artists. The narrative follows Behan’s childhood in east Dublin to his role as a pivotal member of the creative fusion that was 1960s Dublin ‘Baggotonia’ (including Patrick Kavanagh, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Patrick Pye, Camille Souter and Thomas Kinsella) and of the Independent Artists’ group. John Behan has lived in Galway for many years, helping to establish the region and the city as a creative haven for its many artists and galleries: it is here that author and sculptor became friends.
Beautifully designed and with over thirty full-colour photographs and illustrations, An Irish Sculptor is a fitting tribute and celebration of Ireland’s most famous living sculptor. The work includes a listing of one hundred of the artist’s principal works.
‘The apparently casual portrait [Frazier] paints is subtly judged, dense with detail, a vivid mix of information derived from conversations with the sculptor and access to his sometimes surprising private papers… [It is] challenging, entertaining, poignant, full of art and life, like the man himself.’
– Brian Lynch, The Irish Times
‘Central to Frazier’s narrative is a celebration of how Behan and his fellow Independents struggled to forge careers and gain recognition in the face of forceful opposition from influential figures in the Dublin art world… He is eagerly praised as an artist equipped with the strength ‘not to be budged off course.”
– Declan Long, Irish Arts Review