Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, John Byrne is one of the most inventive and contrary artists working in Scotland today. Both stylistically and in terms of subject matter his work fizzes off in all directions, always however underpinned by technical mastery. He is probably more widely known for his work in the theatre and television, with plays like Slab Boys and Tutti Frutti. As a painter he is quite without parallel. As his friend Robbie Coltrane wrote in 2000 of Byrne's sketches: 'if I could draw like that I would give up everything else in my life'.