First Independent Gallery
Bergamot Station G6
2525 Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA  90404
tel: 310.829.0345  fax: 310.829.7612
email: fig@figgallery.com
Wed-Sat, 11-5 & by appointment


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Jeffrey O’Connell

May 22 - June 22, 2013



Altered Photographs

The work I present in this show spans the last ten years, but is connected to work I did in the late 1970's. In between I painted, swinging between abstraction and figurative modes depending on whether I wanted to express joyful or painful feelings, respectively. Under "painful" I would include irony, confusion, sorrow, doubtfulness, etc.; all the types of feelings that I reflexively throw black humor at.

Black humor is involved with this work, but also a kind of joy in being fairly spontaneous while creating most of it. The smaller works employing paint and ink were made very quickly in contrast to the digital prints and were spontaneous reactions to something in the photographs they are built on; but I am not only talking about subject matter: shapes, intervals and tones could also influence my reactions, as well.

I found it interesting that the more time I spent working with an image (take "The Shaman's Enterprise" as an example) the more I became conscious of trying to tell a story involving my personal life experiences. These more complex pieces took a long time to resolve; sometimes the whole ten-year period. In comparison to these more narrative works the smaller/quicker pieces feel like one-line zingers, although I rank them just as important due to the impossibility of ever repeating those momentary bursts of creative clarity.

Some things can't be repeated and maybe I mean the best things, the real things. Certainly I mean the "first times" one ever experiences anything that feels good; it never feels quite as good as that first time ever again. That's why I gave up trying to repeat myself a long time ago; it just can't be done. So I offer these works (especially the small, spontaneous ones) as rare moments materialized into physical objects. In contrast, the larger, digital works are like stories that have been written and rewritten many times and hold a different kind of content.

Crowd Control, 2003-12, pigment print, 23 x 23 ½”
Crowd Control,
2003-12, pigment print, 23 x 23 ½”

 

Space Cadet (Floating Child), 2003, ink, white-out and enamel on found photograph, 10 x 8” Space Cadet (Floating Child), 2003, ink, white-out and enamel on found photograph, 10 x 8” Space Cadet (Floating Child), 2003, ink, white-out and enamel on found photograph, 10 x 8”
Space Cadet (Floating Child), 2003,
ink, white-out and enamel on found photograph, 10 x 8"

 


 
 

 

 
   
Photo Drawing #6, 2012, pigment print, 24 x 30 ¼”
Photo Drawing #6, 2012, pigment print, 24 x 30 ¼"
The Shaman’s Enterprise, pigment print, 38 ½ x 30”
The Shaman’s Enterprise, pigment print, 38 ½ x 30 "

 

The Kid, 2003-12, ink, white-out, enamel on pigment print and found photograph, 18 ½ x 19”
The Kid, ,2003-12,
ink, white-out, enamel on pigment print and found photograph, 18 ½ x 19"

 
Running Man, 2003, enamel and ink on found photograph, 6 x 4”
 
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First Independent Gallery • Bergamot Station G6 • 2525 Michigan Avenue • Santa Monica, CA  90404
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