In the 1960s, while many in the country readily embraced a new spirit of freedom, those in the business community stuck with their hats, suits, and briefcases. It was a uniform that made the wearer’s professional status easily recognizable and his person anonymous.
Kirk seized on the expressive possibilities of the hat almost as soon as he took on his new subject of the businessman. It became an identifying shape in the silhouetted figures of his early drawings to the point that hat and man merged.
“I see each suit sitting there as a bundle of conflicting emotions: man involved in the events of the day, being pushed and shoved, directed here and there, affected by various forces on a minute-by-minute basis.”