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John Ahearn, b.1951

St.Francis Street Boys 19941994

‘St. Francis Street Boys’, 1994 is the result of collaboration between American artist John Ahearn, the boys of 6th Class, St. Francis Street C.B.S., the Irish artist Una Keeley and IMMA. John Ahearn’s practice involves working with community groups, often groups whose access to fine art and museum culture has been limited.

The process of making the series of portrait busts that go to make up ‘St.Francis Street Boys’, 1994 involved a lengthy co-operation between artist and sitters – the development of a trusting relationship between them was central to the success of that process. The boys had to submit to having their heads and shoulders encased in quick-drying latex rubber to make the moulds from which the final plaster casts were made. The resulting portrait group provides a dynamic record of the class of 1994, while it also documents a very real exchange between the boys, the artist and the Museum.

The work is jointly owned by the boys’ school and the Museum and is housed with the Museum’s Collection or at St. Francis Street C.B.S..

MediumPlaster and acrylic paint
DimensionsDimensions variable
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donated by the Artist, 1994
Item NumberIMMA.464
Image Caption
John Ahearn, St.Francis Street Boys 1994, 1994, Plaster and acrylic paint, Dimensions variable, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donated by the Artist, 1994

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

John Ahearn b.1951

Born in New York, John Ahearn works with community groups whose access to fine art and museum culture has been limited. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ahearn executed outdoor murals in New York and collaborated on public projects in North America and Europe. He participated in the Artist’s Residency Programme at IMMA in 1994. From 2000 he has worked in Taiwan and Brazil.
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