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KEVIN O'BRIEN

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  • Schoolfish
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Birthplace
Boston, MA

Birth year
1952

Lives in
Boston, MA

Works in
Boston, MA

Website

Tags
energy modern drawing, high painting

Statement
I am a proponent of Pan-Global, Industrial, Supra-Expressionism which attempts to utilize materials from global industrial culture within works created as art (depsite the fervent reactions to Neo- Expressionism and various other forms over the years, I need to incorporate it in my work, in a new way). The juxtaposition of the bold expressionistic strokes on the stark, bland industrial materials causes a good deal of tension. The bright colors used in the textures further differentiate the energy of the expressionistic strokes from the dullness of the main materials. I say Pan-Global because it is my belief that all cultures have been absorbed into the Industrialscape, in one way or another, and it is an artist's job to rediscover culture, and redeclare it boldly, without hesitation, using the new vocabulary they have been given, because there is no going backwards. It is "Supra" because an attempt is made to make the expressionistic content real, very real, by accentuating it's physical characteristics, texture and enhancing its 3D quality.
 
Reverence for the fine finished patinas that normally apply to art, as in art school or commercial art can be dispensed with for the boldness of an energy more sympathetic with rock and roll (e.g., jimi hendrix), r & b and/or jazz music (e.g., Coltrane). The high-power and energy of these musical expressions had a dramatic impact. Use of industrial materials in new combines (as influenced by Rauschenberg et al.) further stressed new ideas of how materials might be combined. I also try to avoid creating a work that has that "finished", art-professional look, of which I am not fond. Instead, I developed a new primitive kind of "carpentry" skills to hold these materials together, and worrying about loose hanging edges, polish etc. was lost.
 
Of course, there was a new vocabulary of objects that needed to be created and new motifs that needed to be developed and depicted using this type of expression. My symbols were inspired by Klee, Dubuffet, children's art, the "early" people of many different lands. Of course, everyday objects depicted as in Pop were sucked into this imagery through the industrial-scape. I try to develop a symbol from pseudo-figurative state, along a continuum until it becomes my own. The symbols might be fashioned more in the brute manner of Dubuffet, young children or early cultures, as fit more with expressionistic force. But this work cannot be relegated as being "Art Brut", or stereotyped in a similar manner because of its continuous relevant innovation in industrialism. I try to break the energy of the subject into separate snippets that then fit back together in a manner that makes the whole clear!
 
The effects of Surrealism on my work helped break things up into new arrangements, pieces, relationships, even melding forms together. Its super-focus and startling sharpness helped provide a basis for the glistening effects I like to add to some works, as if glowing within an industrial subway, or a modern cave. The rearrangement of shape and form helped me to melt normal shapes into new forms, which could better be used to express their industrial energy.
 
I do not feel that use of the basic materials of painting has been exhausted, or that art now must explore new materials/media to be able to make a valid statement. New media often provides a false feeling of physical, conceptual innovation that ends up ringing hollow.
 
Finally, since, to me, the spiritual is directly self-evident, it is also present in my work. The political and socio-political world are foreign to my art. I do not believe that all forms of expressionistic endeavors are now meaningless.
 

CV

Education:

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting:  University Of Massachusetts, Cum Laude

Studied with John Grillo, a student of Hans Hoffman. He was an early source of encouragement in developing my work.

Shows:

My work Power Double Cheeseburger was just selected for the 2014 Community of Artists Juried Exhibition, to be exhibited from May to August, 2014: at the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA. USA

My work cola 2013 (with label) on subway/graffiti, 2013  was on exhibit from Dec. 13, 2013 - Jan. 30, 2014 at the Midway Channel Gallery: http://www.midwaychannelgallery.com/artists.html

It's an exciting new collaboration within this space for this group of artists, with more to come!!

 

I have been accepted for an online exhibition by the EWNS Art Project Artist's Committee for 2013 - 2014

EWNS Art Project is a European organization, based in Paris area, France, that focuses on encouraging

emerging artists. It's goal is to be a window to the international art scene by presenting a selection of artists

to the French market, etc. To see me on their site, go to EWNS Art:
https://sites.google.com/site/ewnsart/exhibition
The new show is now online!! Under "Current Show"/click on my name

My work on Conan O'Brien's (US Television Late Night Star) Site:

Goto the Team Coco Site/select Fans/Coca Moca Fan Art/Select Multi Media/Scroll Down to the Picture/Hit the Right Arrow Until you see a Work by kLoB!!

New Late Night Art Work Loaded on Site:

Here is a review of my work published recently in this art review journal:
http://issuu.com/landescapeartpress/docs/landescape_art_review_-_june_2013/44

Here is the opening page:
http://issuu.com/landescapeartpress/docs/landescape_art_review_-_june_2013
My work on Artist Portfolio Magazine Web Site:

http://artistportfoliomagazine.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/artist-kevin-obrien-of-north-easton-ma-artist-portfolio-magazine/

My work Skyscraper
http://www.klobart.com/skyscraper.html
has been selected into the 2013 Community of Artists Juried Exhibition
at the Danforth Art Museum
http://www.danforthart.org/juriedexhibitions2013.html

I won 4 Artslant Showcases in 2013 and one in 2012:

http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/105605-kevin-obrien?tab=AWARDS

My Work Hamburger :

http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/105605-kevin-obrien?tab=AWARDS

This particular work, a 7 foot tall hamburger, was constructed using my own brand of primitive carpentry. It is a seminal work for me.

Earlier in last July I heard from the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, that my artwork http://www.klobart.com/starSpangled.html was just selected to display on a rotating basis, appearing with other works on large video screen on the 2nd floor of the Saatchi Gallery within the next 24 hours. My work will remain in the loop as long as the screen is up. This is an ongoing project and an end date has not been decided yet.

I was invited to SM'ART Mediterranean Contemporary and Abstract Art Fair

*Artslant 2011 Showcase Winner(s) - Mixed Media

 

*American Art Awards 2011 - Category 54 - Sculpture - Non-representaional - 5th PLace

 

*Computer at Phoenix Tech
On exhibit Ferbruary 3-24, 2011 in Online (Dis)Connect
at Altered Esthetics

 

Big Fish
On exhibit April 5-26, 2007 in Art Reincarnated
at Altered Esthetics

 

Hi Fi Hamburg
A Finalist Award Winner in ABSTRACTION 2006
International Juried Open Arts Competition

Igloo
1979 - Exhibit at Boston City Hall
Large Corridor, with 25 pieces exhibited
Martin McCavitt played at the opening

 

Recent Exhibits

KEVIN O'BRIEN participated in these exhibits:

May, 2012 kLoB - selected
Parallax Art Fair
 
Exhibited at these venues
KEVIN O'BRIEN has Exhibited at these venues:

Parallax Art Fair
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