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international painting annual 3 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Kelly O'Brien
Smyrna, Georgia


detail image


You paint with paint and yellow is yellow. Generalizations can be as vague or limiting as we allow, and alluding to them creates a niche for my studio practice to thrive. Through paint generalities I generate perceptual nuances that cause retinal stimulation caused by layering similar hues of yellow atop one another. Utilization of media follow suit, visually wrestling for the spotlight. Expectations of what is considered sculpture or painting are exaggerated for the compositional battle, and the form is dictated by the inherent nature of the material.

These generalizations also branch into cultural associations a material such as spandex serves, tawdry in its presentation, yet initially an expensive fabric. If the wearer assumes the brazen qualities assigned to spandex, glitter and snaps, does my work as well? With heroic art practices like oil painting and the structural trust gained through my wood forms, I can rescue the integrity of these innocent materials by referencing generalized art issues.

I create works that raise questions rather than statements, with curiosity for uncovering cultural associations through artistic applications. Assumed conflicts are resolved when the viewer discovers subtle details that could be overlooked due to intensity of colors and bold structural forms. My work gives validity back to discredited material with support from tried and true forms and media, causing conversation with image, object and material.


born: 1986, Lockport, New York


Georgia State University, MFA Sculpture, 2012
Buffalo State College, BFA Sculpture, 2008
Buffalo State College, BFA Painting, 2008

selected awards/honors

Scholarship funded by the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Ox-Bow School of Art, 2012
Artist Grant, Vermont Studio Center, 2012
Sculpture Merit Scholarship, Anderson Ranch Art Center, 2012

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Callenwolde Fine Arts Center: Putting Lipstick on a Sculpture, Atlanta, GA, 2012
Ernest G. Welch Gallery at Georgia State University: Glitz!, Atlanta, GA, 2012
Girl/Boy Gallery at Ox-Bow: Under the Rainbow, Saugatuck, MI, 2012
Gallery 234 at Buffalo State College: Last Call, Buffalo, NY, 2008

selected group shows

Whitespace Gallery: From Cosmology to Neurology and Back Again, Atlanta, GA, 2012
Art Institute and Gallery: 21st Annual National Juried Exhibition, Salisbury, MD, 2012
Aqua Hotel: Aqua 11 Art Miami, Miami Beach, FL, 2011
Landmark Arts-Galleries of Texas Tech School of Art: BRING IT, Lubbock, TX, 2011



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