the road to here

My name is Kevin Booth and I am a visual artist and writer, creative fields I have come to through the theatre and translation.

In June 2022, I held my first show, Blur Queer Lines, at the gallery Estudio Mahi Toi in Barcelona. You can see the works here.

This was a true milestone. After years of being obsessed with and writing about visual art in novels and non-fiction, I finally moved into the practical, reviving a passion from my adolescence. The decision to study oil painting at Escola Massana, Barcelona (2018) was key to reigniting this vocation. While I continue to write, visual art is now my primary focus in a practice encompassing oils, inks and drawing. In exploring what it is to be male, gay and sexual, the artistic persona, Domitorus, allows me to tackle more explicit erotic and fetish themes.

As a writer, I create contemporary and LGBT-themed fiction, often about Barcelona and its history, such as my first novel, Celia’s Room (2011). I have also written about the city’s art and architecture in the BCN Free Art guides (2016). Writing as K. Eastkott I created the “Jewel Fish Chronicles” (20132015), an environmentally focussed ocean fantasy that explored non-Eurocentric worlds. I started writing by penning theatre-in-education plays, such as the hugely successful 100 Meters (1993), which tells the story of the athlete Wilma Rudolph, who overcame crippling disability and racism to become the fastest woman in the world. It is about to be commercially published along with an updated teaching pack for students of English at CEFR language levels A2–C1.

Born into an artistic family in Aotearoa New Zealand, I have lived in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Madrid and London, though since 1988, Barcelona is the city I call home. I studied a BA (Hons) Literature at the Open University (UK, 2005) and undertook a postgraduate BA (Hons) in Comparative Literature at Auckland University (2008), both awarded First Class Honours. I combine art and writing with work as a translator, editor and copywriter.

Artist statement

The two main strands of my working exploration are oils and coloured inks, using other media, such as gold leaf, as needed. Light and saturated colour are both fundamental in my work.

The rich pigments of oils allow me to capture the colour and joy of male sexuality, like a celebration in bright sunlight. I am currently exploring non-naturalistic chromatic balancing in a movement towards abstraction while for the present remaining bound by figurative convention.

With inks, I prefer to let the colours mix while wet in an anarchic clash of unknown and unexplored terrain, the way two people come together in a sexual encounter. Guarded about voicing emotion, their feelings still flow beneath the skin, glimpsed as fleeting translucence before the liquid pigments become encrusted on the paper. I enjoy exploring the differing textures of the inks on different grounds, such as paper, gesso or acrylic.

First show

Blur Queer Lines. Held at Estudio Mahi Toi, Barcelona, from 16 June to 3 July 2022, I showed a number of recent oils (2020–2022), along with a series of mixed media works. All works available can be seen here and are available for purchase from Estudio Mahi Toi. Art prints available.

Group shows (most recent first)

Hostalric d’art. At this art fair, I exhibited a number of oil and mixed media male figurative 2D works, along with a series of boxes decorated in coloured inks and gold leaf. Hostalric (Catalonia), June 2022.

R Submits (coloured inks on paper, 16 x 27 cm) and In His Happy Place (coloured inks on paper, 27 x 16 cm) auctioned at CLAW22 Art Show, Cleveland (USA), April 2022.

Access Denied (oil on canvas, 16 x 27 cm) and Chris Bound (coloured inks and water-soluble pencil on paper, 30 x 40 cm) auctioned at CLAW21 Art Show, Los Angeles (USA), November 2021.

Iván Reclining, reproduction of 30 x 60 cm oil on canvas, in Pride Edition Virtual Show, CU46 Gallery, Barcelona, July 2020.