Short Artist Statement

Kevin L. O'Brien (kLoB)

I am a proponent of Pan-Global, Industrial, Supra-Proto-Neo-Expressionism which attempts to utilize materials from global industrial culture within works created as art. The juxtaposition of the bold Proto-Neo-Expressionistic strokes on the stark, bland industrial materials causes a good deal of tension. The bright colors used in the textures further differentiate the energy of the Supra-Pre-Proto-Neo-Expressionistic strokes from the dullness of the main materials. Instead I call it 'Supra-Pan-Global Expressionism' because it is my belief that all cultures have been absorbed into the Industrialscape, in one way or another, and it is an artist's job to rediscover culture, and re-declare it boldly, without hesitation, using the new vocabulary they have been given, because there is no going backwards. There is one broader version of Expressionism. It is 'Supra' because an attempt is made to make the pre-Neo-Expressionistic content real, very real, super real, by accentuating it's physical characteristics, texture and enhancing its 3D quality.
Of course, there was a new vocabulary of objects that needed to be created and new motifs that needed to be developed and depicted using this type of pre-Neo-expression. My symbols were inspired by Klee, Dubuffet, children's art, the 'early' people of many different lands. Of course, current everyday objects, depicted as in Pop earlier, were sucked into this imagery through the Industrialscape. I try to develop a symbol from a pseudo-figurative state, along a continuum until it becomes my own, in purer symbol form. The symbols might be fashioned more in the brute manner of Dubuffet, young children or early cultures, so as to fit more with pre-Neo-expressionistic force. Included in the vocabulary are images from industrial culture themselves, in an attempt to bring the imagery home to subjects of the industrial realm. I try to break the energy of the subject into separate interlocking snippets that then fit back together in a manner that makes the whole clear, and more powerful- kind of like Legos!
The effects of Surrealism on my work helped break things up into new arrangements, pieces, relationships, even melding forms together. Its super-focus, melting-power, and startling sharpness helped provide a basis for the glistening effects I like to add to some works, as if glowing within the light of an industrial subway, or a modern 'cave.' To enhance this effect, I add super glossy finishes, glitter and shiny materials causing contrast. The rearrangement of shape and form helped me to melt normal shapes into new forms, which could better be used to express their industrial energy. I have also moved to using a background materialized as a reproduction of a full Street background, extracted and now made moveable, so that the Street presentation can be re-exhibited in a gallery setting, as if in the actual Street.
I do not feel that use of the basic materials of painting/art has been exhausted, or that art now must explore new materials/media to be able to make a valid statement. New media alone is not enough, it is instead the message itself, as expressed through these new arrangements/materials which is most important.
Finally, since, to me, the spiritual is directly self-evident, it is also present in my work. The political and sociopolitical world are foreign to my art. I do not believe that all forms of pre-Neo-expressionistic endeavors are now meaningless, or have been 'done.' Instead, I hope to use this form of pre-Neo-expression to accentuate what is relevant, and heighten its impact.