ART EXHIBITION:John O'Brien: “Rifting on the Diary of a Seducer”
June 5 - July 9, 2010
Opening Reception: June 5, 2010, 7-10 pm
Artist Talk: June 20, 2010, 2pm Gallery hours: Thursday - Saturday 12 - 6pm & by appointment
For images, please contact: Kristi Engle, 323/258-2385
Continuing in the same vein as previous exhibitions at the Kristi Engle Gallery, John O'Brien presents a new exhibition of large-scale sculpture with a series of related flat works. The exhibition is a direct reflection of the work of painter Arshile Gorky (whose work is currently being shown in an unaffiliated exhibition at MOCA until September 20, 2010.
O'Brien's personal connections to Gorky are notable as a foreigner in America (O'Brien is an Italian-American but spent his childhood and adolescence in Italy) who feels the need to create a new identity for living in the United States. This connection manifests itself in the large table-like for that blooms into three 3-dimensional forms specifically based on Gorky's own self portraits in three different time periods of his life. Those forms interact with three wall-mounted drawings that are also directly connected to Gorky's work, specifically portraits of women painted in the corresponding time periods. Other forms balloon out from the lower half of the table expressing the conscious and unconscious of both artists.
The related series of 2-dimensional work is created using film negatives. Scanning them and manipulating the image to create a ghostly version of the image to float above an inverted but clearer version, again mirroring the conscious and unconscious of the mind. The images themselves are of exhibition halls from World Expos and the life, crowded with vitrines which in turn are crowded with generally unidentifiable objects. O'Brien further embellishes the images with colorful abstract marks, using Jungian-style free association to reference both specific personal experiences as well as his study and understanding of the history and processes of abstract/surrealist artists, drawing heavily on O'Brien's interest in surrealism particularly the work of Gorky, as well as John Altoon and Theodore Roszak, and the hidden figurative elements in their abstractions.
Kristi Engle Gallery devotes itself primarily to solo exhibitions of new works by contemporary artists. It is located in Highland Park, near the corner of Ave. 50 and York Blvd.