My work is derived from a combination of memory, fantasy and fiction, often drawing from Western folklore through the use of iconic characters. I am particularly interested in the duality of characters that represent American idealism, yet were often tragic figures in their actual lives. Much of my work is about exposing the reality behind these public façades.
Judy Garland is a reoccurring heroine in my collages. Her classic film, The Wizard of Oz, is full of magic and pure artificial joy; yet Garland's real life was quite tragic. For me she represents a loss of innocence. Garland and many of the female characters in my work have a look of bliss or artificial happiness, while many of the male characters represent the ominous "man behind the curtain" or the creators of the stories. These characters are mythological to me and make up much of my subconscious.
I strive to create scenes through which the viewer can experience the influence or spell that timeless narratives can cast over our lives. These stories contain so many archetypes and subliminal messages which provide an endless source of inspiration. Often, I combine several fairy tales to give an overall sense of these stories, staging familiar characters in menacing landscapes. By appropriating idealized American scenes, such as Disneyland and Yellowstone National Park, and creating a non-linear narrative, I intentionally leave the situation ambiguous in order for the viewer to relate their own experiences to the suggested scenarios. The juxtaposition of contemporary cultural views-exhibited through familiar subjects-with an idealized American society creates a Post-Utopia.
Playing with color is central to my process. I create candy-colored surfaces that are so sweet it's sick, and incorporate colors sampled from vintage record covers. The contrast of sparkling rays and neon colors against weathered, dull tones acts as a metaphor for the duality within the characters. In order to create large-scale work, I enlarge images from their original source. The appropriated images are drawn from film and amusement memorabilia, primarily from the 1950's and 1960's. I like this time period because the line quality of the drawings is minimal and the subjects are rich with American idealism.
In collage, works on paper, and installation-based work, her familiar subjects undergo surreal, psychedelic, hypnotic, and other unsettling tranformations.
-Rene Paul Barilleaux, McNay Art Museum
b. 1982, San Antonio, TX
Rock City, Galveston Art Center, Galveston, TX
Last Resort, Women and Their Work, Austin, TX
David Shelton Gallery, Post-Utopia, San Antonio, TX
Thunderbird, NEVERENDING STORY, Marfa, TX
Sala Diaz, Worn by the Sun, San Antonio, TX
Joan Grona Gallery, Magnetic Fields, San Antonio, TX
Conduit Gallery, Project Room, Dallas, TX
Joan Grona Gallery, Works on Paper, San Antonio, TX
New Gallery, Dissecting Disney, University of Texas Austin
Closet Space Gallery: Insulation Incubation, Austin, TX
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Prelude, David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX
New Works on Paper, David Shelton Gallery, San Antonio, TX
COL-LAGE, organized by Kinzelman Art Consulting, Bank of America Tower, Houston, TX
McNay Art Museum, Artists Looking at Art, San Antonio, TX
Suite Art Fair, David Shelton Gallery, Dallas, TX
Works on Paper, David Shelton Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Clamp Light Studios and Gallery, Invited 6, San Antonio, TX
Joan Grona Gallery, IN-APPROPRIATE, San Antonio, TX
Flight! Gallery, 2010, San Antonio, TX
Blue Star, Lonely are the Brave, San Antonio, TX
Artpace, Chalk it Up, Showcase artist, San Antonio, TX
Unit B Gallery, So the story Goes..., San Antonio, TX
Ballroom Marfa and ArtLies, Medicine Show, Marfa, TX
Dougherty Arts Center, Austin, TX
Galleri Urbane, Dark Objects Light Matter, Marfa, TX
Texas Biennale, Bolm Studios, Austin, TX
Austin Museum of Art, Laguna Gloria, Sprout, Austin, TX
Santa Chiara: Food Concepts, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
2002 - 2005
University of Texas at Austin, B.F.A, Studio Art
2000 - 2002
San Antonio College
Santa Chiara Study Center, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
2010 and 2011
Artist Foundation Finalist
Nominated for Texas Prize
Nominated for Women & Their Work
Stanley Light, Dallas, TX
Whitney H. More, Ft. Worth, TX
Adrienne Yost, Houston, TX
Cathy Echols, Houston, TX
Kinzelman Art Consulting, Houston, TX
Liz Anders, Houston, TX
Michael Griffin, Houston, TX
Robert G. Proctor, Houston, TX
Sam and Jerry Gore, San Antonio, TX
John Bloodsworth, San Antonio, TX
Josh Levine, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Joel and Lori Dunlap, San Antonio, TX
C. Thomas Wright, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Clinton Wright, San Antonio, TX
Liz and Matt Tullis, San Antonio, TX
Steven Evans, San Antonio, TX
Brad Parman, San Antonio, TX
Rick Liberto, San Antonio, TX
Lynn Bell Berryman, San Antonio, TX
Vance Knowles, Marfa, TX
Dr. and Mrs. C. D. Shelton, New Braunfels, TX
Travis Capps and Lee Anthony, San Antonio, TX
Libby D. Tilley, San Antonio, TX
Guillermo Nicholas and Jim Foster, San Antonio, TX
Virginia Lebermann and John Wotowicz, Marfa, TX
Kathryn Kanjo and David Jurist, San Diego, CA
Atwell, Wendy. Sala Diaz, San Antonio. Might Be Good. Issue # 154. Foraging For New Definition. 10/1/10.
Morris, Jerid. The Mother Country. The Current. September 8-14, 2010.
Silva, Elda & Bennett, Steve. Best of 2009: Visual Arts. Express News. 12/26/2009.
Judson, Ben. Lonely Are the Brave. Artlies. No. 63. Fall 2009. P. 102.
Fisch, Sarah. Lately Come the ‘Brave.' San Antonio Current. August 12 -18, 2009. P.26.
Goddard, Dan. "Lonely Are the Brave." At Blue Star. August 2009. http://glasstire.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3526>sect=Articles>cat=Review
Bennett, Steve. Dark Cloud Hangs Over Artist's Happy Places. San Antonio Express News. June 2009.
Ras, Barbara. Art at Your Doorstep. Trinity Press. Curator Riley Robinson. Designer McGINTY. May 2008.
Wolff, Elaine. Happily never after. San Antonio Current. February 20, 2008.
Belasco, Jessica. Childhood stories turn to the dark side. 210SA, January 30, 2008. P. 27.
Galleri Urbane artists weave heavy subjects with light materials, The Big Bend Sentinel. April 5, 2007.P.6
Works on Paper presents new works by Sara Frantz, Kelly O’Connor, Al Souza, Dan Sutherland, Michael Velliquette, and Matthew van Hellen*. It was organized almost as an afterthought by David Shelton to accompanySan Antonio Draws, an exhibit designed by curator Lyle Williams opening soon at the McNay Art Museum. Though paper is most commonly associated with drawing, the show at Shelton presents a variety of technique, including graphite drawings, ink drawings, collage, cut paper, and cut and sewn paper works.
Somewhere between childhood wonder and adult disillusionment, Kelly O'Connor is creating a psychic landscape from fragments of familiar movies, TV shows, vacationlands and fairy tales. While she's been making the collages mined from her childhood pop culture for years, O'Connor's "Post-Utopia" show at the David Shelton Gallery seems more intimate and introspective, inspired by a photograph of the artist as a young girl standing in front of the Mammoth Terrace Falls at Yellowstone National Park.
Seduced at an early age by four-door wanderlust via multiple trips to Disney Land, Yellowstone National Park and other points West, O’Connor launches her good natured critique of America (same thing as Utopia, right?) from recent experiments in spaces outside the frame in 2009 and 2010. From these dual expansions of her endeavor she has derived beams of light made of yarn; replicated calcification; the hexagonal structure of wasp nests; and of course, those lovely, lovely drips (nothing to do with Gorky). Post Utopia extends these experiments by bringing them back inside the frame and with multi-colored radial vectors painted directly on the numerous windows that line the space.Seduced at an early age by four-door wanderlust via multiple trips to Disney Land, Yellowstone National Park and other points West, O'Connor launches her good natured critique of America (same thing as Utopia, right?) from recent experiments in spaces outside the frame in 2009 and 2010. From these dual expansions of her endeavor she has derived beams of light made of yarn; replicated calcification; the hexagonal structure of wasp nests; and of course, those lovely, lovely drips (nothing to do with Gorky). Post Utopia extends these experiments by bringing them back inside the frame and with multi-colored radial vectors painted directly on the numerous windows that line the space.