Brian Bourke was born in Dublin in 1936 and was educated in the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and also St Martin’s School of Art in London.
In 1965, Bourke was chosen to represent Ireland at the Paris Biennale and the Lugano Exhibition of Graphics, he won the arts council portrait competition, the Munster and Leinster bank competition in 1966 and also first prize in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art competition in 1967. Brian was the Sunday Independent Artist of the Year and was awarded the O’Malley Award from the Irish-American Cultural Institute in 1993. He is mainly known for his painting, drawings and sculpture and works on a grand scale, with some individual works such as Women Giving Birth to Men comprising over forty canvases. A major publication about the artist, which chronicled the artist’s expansive career over a period of fifty years; Brian Bourke, five decades 1960’s – 2000’s, was published by Lilliput in 2011.
Brian now lives in Connemara and in 2016 received an honorary doctorate by National University of Ireland.