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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

BART O'REILLY

BART O'REILLY

Artist Work

Gazing Content
2015
Acrylic and Household Paint on Canvas
14"x11"
Cut off Before Words
2015
Acrylic, Gesso and Household Paint on Canvas
14"x11"
City of Trees
2015
Installation, Painting, Video, Found Object Sculpture
10'x5'x8'
City of Trees Video
2015
Digital Video
7:55minutes
An Honest Disclosure
2015
Acrylic and Household Paint on Canvas
36"x30"
Propped up in Haste
2015
Acrylic and Household Paint on Canvas
14"x11"

Artist Information

County
Baltimore County
Phone
410 698 7298
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

I am an Irish artist; I have been based in Baltimore, Maryland for 12 years. My work is interdisciplinary with a focus on painting, video and poetry. My work is concerned with light, shadow, color, perception and place, I explore the potential of objects, how they occupy space and interact with them using drawing, painting, video, installation and poetry in a way that is sensitive to their materiality. While there is a strong interest in the objects and their place of origin I am also aware that all I really have is the present. I can speculate about their history, their cultural origins and how they came to be where they are but it is at best an educated guess. The statement that you can tell a lot about a society by what it throws away holds true for me, but often the fragments mask as much as they reveal. I insert a loose slightly ambiguous personal narrative into the work and invite viewers to participate in drawing their own meaning from what is presented. Using painting and digital video I explore the contradictory nature of both media when combined. My paintings are still for the viewer yet their production requires motion. My video camera sits still on a tripod yet creates the illusion of movement. My paintings are a series of moments recoded cumulatively over time and presented with in one rectangle. Sometimes video projections are source material for my paintings. The paintings are one picture of many distinct moments. The videos are series of moments captured instantly and mechanically yet they are brought back into a dialogue with painting through editing on a computer. I have found this back and forth between easel and gestural painting on the one hand and video and digital painting on the other to be fertile territory in my 15-year investigation of it. Using the camera or the canvas as a framing device, I am asking several important formal questions. What do we see when we pay attention? How is the drawing or painting process different to what the video camera sees? And how do my interactions effect the environment I occupy? It seems natural to seek to understand the gestalt or the whole of the object, how does it occupy space how does it look from the camera perspective compared to my perspective as a painter. It seems to me however that such a desire limits and frustrates us. As finite creatures our faculties of perception grow, develop, and deteriorate over time. Even at our sharpest we influenced by countless factors relating to environment, culture and our place in history. A claim to truly know or understand seems at best arrogant and at worst extremely dangerous. I try to explore the slippage between what we perceive and what we claim to know.

Artist Bio

I am an Irish artist. I have been based in Baltimore for 12 years. I make interdisciplinary work that includes painting, drawing, poetry and video. I have eight years experience working with under-represented artists who have special needs. I also teach painting, two-dimensional design and color theory at Harford Community College and painting at The Maryland Institute College of Art. I have shown my work extensively in Ireland and the United States. I received my BFA from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin in 2000 and my MFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art in 2012. In 2014 received a grant from The Baltimore Social Innovation Journal and this year 2015 I received the Mayors Individual Artists Award from The Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts.