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John David O'Brien

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Listing 14 Works   |   Viewing 1 - 14
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John David O'Brien Trasparenze no.5
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John David O'Brien Trasparenze no.7
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John David O'Brien Sottopassagio(Underpass) 1
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John David O'Brien Sottopassagio(Underpass) 4
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John David O'Brien

John David O'Brien

John David O'Brien Biography

 John O’Brien’s practice is grounded in historical abstraction and is derived from a hermeneutic impulse, both in interpretation and translation.  He draws from the images and environments around himself and transforms them through a variety of physical processes.  He references the Arte Povera movement in Italy and then fuses it with America’s West Coast Assemblage Art.  Siting  Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, David Smith, Theodore Roszak, Tancredo Parmeggiani, Alberto Burri, Pietro Consagra and Fausto Melotti as his artistic influences, John utilities found objects, displace cases, pre-existing structures, photographic transfers, and various paint media in his creations which have been exhibited nationally and internationally at such places as the Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art and Museo d’Arte Moderna e dell’Informazione in Senigallia, Italy among others.  In addition to his own studio practice, John, who has curated over forty exhibitions in California, Italy, and the Netherlands, considers the temporary project spaces he directs, the public art projects he participates in, and his critical writings for such magazines as Artillery and Sculpture to be ways of extending his art making practices.  John was born in Sagamihara, Japan and currently splits his time between Los Angeles, California, and Umbria, Italy.

 

 

 

John David O'Brien Statement

I draw from objects, images and environments around me and transform them through different physical processes. I work from my memory as well as from my immediate surroundings. I believe the rationale for this work is to decipher and re-imagine the things in the world and put them into an expanded context where their normal use is bracketed while other levels of meaning are formulated.  To these ends, I use a combination of found objects and pre-existing structures that I place together with fabricated elements in order to create a visual archeology. The use of display cases and simple framing devices underscores the museum-like quality of the collections amassed. I reference the history of Arte Povera in Italy and fuse that with west coast Assemblage art. Overall, I try to make art objects that, at first glance, strike the imagination. After that, I trust that a viewer will track my process of abstraction through the re-interpretation and mistranslation that guided it. I am interested in beauty as an ineffable quality; however, I am equally interested in how art can inform and illuminate the act of classifying and interpreting that precedes the understanding we have of a given object or environment. In my artwork, therefore, I aim to create a combination of visual elements that traces my speculation into how we give meaning to objects and environments in the world around us. I am interested in how we interpret them to our own ends.

 

John David O'Brien Articles

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