Tuesday, August 25

David O'Brien Artwork

Article I recently wrote for Yatzer
... check it.

David O’Brien’s architecturally derived ink and color pencil paintings are instantly captivating. Dynamic geometrical shapes – prisms, diamonds, pinwheels, stars, etc. – leave you mesmerized, and quite possibly hypnotized. Its simplicity is spectacular, but at a closer look, it’s actually not simple at all but rather incredibly mathematically and geometrically abstract. What’s so interesting about viewing O’Brien’s work is the feeling like you’re departing from reality and entering a world of kaleidoscopic chaos and cosmological bliss.

Now based in Los Angeles, O’Brien started out his career at Virginia Tech – receiving a degree in Architecture – and later working for the legendary Frank Gehry for several years before navigating his artistic energy into a more elemental, fine art practice. Speaking of architecture school and its influence on his artwork today, O’Brien says:

There was a constant conversation in the studios about Architecture and cosmology. That a work of architecture can be a cosmological diagram: giving a picture of life on earth and all the functions that it requires while at the same time projecting up into the sky all the questions about what it is that we are doing here. A cosmological diagram is kind of like a unifying theory of everything. So these thoughts, along with the strong emphasis on craft and drawing sort of set me on the trajectory that I'm on today. Only now I would go a step further to say that a work of art can be an opening into another world or another dimension.


Mentioned in an artistic statement, O’Brien wants his artwork to ultimately articulate and visually decode the differences - and fusion - between geometry and biology in the context of art. Through this creative process, inanimate shapes organically transform and become alive. It’s clear that merely viewing photographs of his artwork online can’t entirely capture the complexity and dimensionality of his work. If you get the chance to see these intellectual pieces in person, be sure to take the opportunity.

David O'Brien

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