Thursday, March 17, 2011

David O'Brien

There are a lot of artists out there whose work is a dry one note; a single image repeated to the point of creating a nauseating corporate logo passed off as art (I'm talking to you, George Rodrigue). Then there are some artists that diversify in their medium so much that none of their pieces are cohesive, and their voice is lost in the variety. Then there are guys like David O'Brien, whose work has both visual variety and the unifying themes of what I see as the intricate complexity of the biological world (but I'm in medicine, I see biology everywhere). His fabulous mazes are reminiscent of bacteria under a microscope, and his series of "swarm" photo-collages are phenomenal. I'll admit, some of his work borders on artistic indulgence: While I haven't included any of them here, his series of "Scribbles" and tetrahedrons on his website are disappointingly boring and overdone this far out of the expressionist movement, but the rest of his work makes up for it. Enjoy.

 Each tiny figure in each of the "swarm" pieces is a photograph of an individual person, with some repeats, but who can tell one locust from another in a swarm anyway?

 While I'm not the biggest fan of this cutesy flocculent colored pencil stuff, I've included one of the better ones for completeness (there are a LOT of these)
This is the piece that to me resembles bacteria under magnification. The way they congregate, the mass in the center, even the arching loops and strings are fabulous. Oh, and this crazy mess is a solvable maze. Really.

A swarm of colored pencil "potato people" with close up.

 Another swarm of people, this time with a close-up below.

If you like what you see, check out David O'Brien's Website:

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's ironic. I stumbled on your blog because you insulted my husband's art. However, that content aside, I still feel the need to compliment you on the beauty of your presentation, photographs, and even much of your commentary. I especially enjoyed your post about the NOMA exhibition "The Sound of One Hand" by Zen Master Hakuin.

    Wendy Rodrigue


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