Richard O'Brien - 'Alber's Teaspoons' - wax paper 3 bookboard panels
Common items encountered in the day to day world drew my attention early. "Found objects"? Not exactly. Rather, it was the stuff related to the daily human transactions we partake in. So, the receipt, the ticket stub, paper bags, a pack of matches, napkins, maps, the newspaper - such items soon accumulated on my table and assembling them preoccupied my imagination.
I was living in New York in the 80's when I made my first collages. Perhaps they were an "order out of chaos" response to the teeming city. But if there was chaos, combining these items resulted in something beyond creating order. Artifacts of an urban life became transmuted. Narrative clues were largely obscured. 'What was I doing?', I had to ask myself.
I suppose much has been written and said about the mystery of the art making process. I have little to add except, of course, these collages.
The early practice of including foriegn materials into the paintings and drawings of Braque and Picasso led one progenitor of modernism, Guilliame Apollinaire, to observe that "the materials of collage are already steeped in humanity".*
"O'Brien's work was recently selected for inclusion in the nationally juried "14th Annual Small Works Show" by New York-based curator, Nicole Kaack (Dedalus Fellow, The Museum Of Modern Art), and will be on view at 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, November 29 through December 28, 2018."
*John Elderfield, Curator of Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art on the collage art of Kurt Schwitters.
Richard O'Brien's work has been privately collected by the gallerists Susan Maasch, Portland, ME, Paul Bridgewater (Bridgewater Fine Art), NYC, and by individual artists in New England.
Richard O'Brien is originally from Boston, Massachusetts where he studied Theater Arts at Emerson College. He moved from NYC to Portland, Maine in 1990.
The collages currently on view were made in 2018. This is the first commercial exhibition of his work.
Collage on panel
Mixed Media 15" x 1" x 5"