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 Brian O'Connor  (1958 - )

About: Brian O'Connor


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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: Surrealist large-scale figurative, narrative painting

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Brian O'Connor
Garbage Pants Proletariat
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Artist Brian O'Connor creates dense narrative paintings that begin as images in his head.

O'Connor graduated in 1983 with a degree in art from the University of New Mexico. His college career included time spent at the Centro Andino in Quito, Ecuador where he realized his passion for art. In 1990 he received a Western States National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Brian O'Connor has exhibited in galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Santa Fe. He lives in Las Nutras, New Mexico with his wife, artist Iva Morris, and their two children.

, August/September 2005

Biography from LewAllen Galleries:
For more than 30 years, surrealist painter Brian O’Connor has created phantasmal scenes of illusion and mystery. Fictional characters act out sociopolitical narratives of the somewhat absurd. With every brush stroke as a metaphor, his paintings are intended to become a language of emotion, memory, and ideas, rendering figures within a range of realism; from classical, to caricature, to cartoon. 

“O’Connor is a gifted realist painter whose increasingly dark vision continues to expand as he adds to his narrative of millennial observations…What O’Connor does in his work is pose questions about our complicity with the forces of degradation that seem to increasingly govern our fate and compromise the quality of play and poetry of our children,” wrote Diane Armitage of THE Magazine.

O’Connor’s works are a kind of theater where the acts are played out simultaneously, the sequencing drawn out not through the medium, but through the imagination, memory and experiences of the viewer. There are elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and vagary. “The paintings are about people living everyday lives, dramatic, cowardly, vicious, graceful, funny stoic, 'whiney', tragic, dignified, inconsequential and heroic lives, sometimes all at once,” says O’Connor about his creations.

Receiving his BFA from the University of New Mexico, O’Connor went on to exhibit his paintings in galleries and museums nationally. He has taught at the University of New Mexico and put on various workshops and lectures for schools, universities, and art institutions.

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