Art Makes The Space
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Stretched Canvas

Modern Lines

Contemporary White

Classical Baroque

Unframed print

Kevin O'Brien's Recent Work

Kevin O'Brien, Massachusetts
Member Since January 2007
Artist Statement Short Artist Statement

Kevin L. O'Brien (kLoB)

I am a proponent of Pan-Global, Industrial, Supra-Expressionism
which attempts to utilize materials from global industrial culture
within works created as art. The juxtaposition of the bold expressionistic
strokes on the stark industrial materials causes a good deal of tension.
The bright colors used in the textures further differentiates the energy
of expressionistic strokes from the dullness of the main materials.

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 early on) further stressed the
idea of how materials could be combined and what marked a work as "finished."
A new primitive kind of "carpentry" skills were developed to hold these
materials together, and worry about loose hanging edges was lost.

Expressionistic tendencies were heavily influenced by key Expressionists
from Van Gogh though Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting. They walk
a thin line between markings on some surface that depict something, and
tracing the actual flow of energy through some random being.

Of course, there was a new vocabulary of objects that needed to be created
and new motifs that needed to be developed to be depicted using this form
of expression. My symbols were inspired by Klee, Dubuffet, children's art,
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 would be fashioned more in the brute manner of
Dubuffet, children or early cultures, as it fit more with expressionistic force.

Helping to break things up into new arrangements, pieces and relationships, even
going to the nonsensical as in Dada, were the effects of Surrealism on my work.
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,
within a 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.

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.
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