STILLLIFE

2014

The Schumacher Gallery

Westover School

Middlebury, CT

curated by Caleb Portfolio

 

STILLLIFE is a title that refers to the category of painting and also a calm reflection on life and time. John O'Donnell's process and materials are inspired by the history of painting and contemporary abstraction. In the studio he paints directly on to found objects and then paints the image on a burlap canvas with gesso and acrylic paint, sometimes he uses oil paint and spray paint to reference different historical and contemporary processes. The result is a casual, but considered, painting loosely depicting an object through gesture and liberal application paint- often directly out of the tube. Most paintings and objects are loosely related, but certain pieces directly reference moments from art history.

 

Navel Gazing

2012

Quinebaug Valley Community College

Danielson, CT

curated by Audrey Mucci

 

Navel Gazing appropriates and reassembles nostalgic objects and icons from my youth and present to address the vexing obligations of contemporary existence and illuminate the tension between childhood expectations and adult realities. Looking at an intersection of pop culture and traditional American symbolism.

 

Installation includes videos, collages, sculpture, drawings and prints.

Untitled (Object Studies)

2010-2012

Visual Arts Resource Center

Open Studios

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

 

These images of various object and image pairings embracing principles of collage and assemblage to illuminate contradictions and correlations between mass-produced objects and images.  Humor, irony, illusion and nostalgia drive this process.  Most objects are purchased from the dollars store as a way to illuminate disconcert between commodities’ design, use-value and monetary value.  Many are studies that are exhibited in my installations.

Monkey Shines

2010

Seton Gallery,

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT

curated by L. Jessica Peck

 

Monkey Shines is an installation that uses popular imagery to references the awkward maturation process shared by those culturally educated popular media. Adolescent high jinks, hypothetical conundrums and practical jokes take form in rough-hewn assemblages, indications of temporary solutions and failed ambitions.

 

A majority of materials are purchased from party stores to address topics of celebration and the disposable nature of objects that facilitate special occasions.

 

Installation includes videos, collages, sculpture, drawings and prints.

 

Salad Days

2009

Flux Space

Philadelphia, PA

curated by Nike Desis

 

Salad Days is a site-specific Installage (installation + collage) that celebrates the inexperience, indiscretion and charming ignorance of an idealized youth, while scolding puberty for the complications it has wrought. Salad Days evokes the vague period before childhood ends and the maturation process begins, a place where sexual thoughts and assumptions are misunderstood and result in indistinct notions of yourself and others.

 

A majority of materials are purchased from party stores to address topics of celebration and the disposable nature of objects that facilitate special occasions. This is another way of examining the temporality of youth and the awkward reality of transitions.

 

PG-13

2010

Artspace,

New Haven, CT

curated by Liza Stanton

 

PG-13 is an installation that appropriates various forms of popular media, plastic toys from the dollar store, publicity photos, glossy pictures of food, bad air-brushed pornography, and a cardboard cut-out of the ultimate masculine role model: Michael Jordan. PG-13 implies a culture over-crowded with material excess, popular icons, and kitsch. Installation includes videos, collages, sculpture, drawings and prints.

 

This installation relies on Surrealist troupes and Dada philosophy as a way of making sense of a society bent on irony, deception and illusion.  The exhibition is hung salon style, floor to ceiling, to draw parallels of art history and contemporary media.

 

 

Eden

2009

Visual Arts Resource Center

Open Studios

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

 

An installation inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s famous painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.  Several surveillance cameras are placed through out the installation referencing observation and comfort as it relates to morality and self-consciousness.