Paul O'BrienArtisan
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Paul O'Brien


About Paul O'Brien

I am an artist from London, now living in Kent. I work mainly in acrylic and collage.
After 20 years working in visual effects and design I turned to painting.
Design focuses heavily on informing and directing the viewer. To understand the artistic side of my work I needed to be free from these constraints, finding a deeper form of communication in abstract art.

Artist Statement

My passion is combining acrylic with text-based collage. I was first inspired to use typography in my work because it creates such fine detail. Having worked in graphic design I felt comfortable with the relationship between collage and paint. Early works had too much of a graphic feel and it became important for me to seek a deeper quality within my painting.
I have resisted the temptation to use headlines in my work, as small print creates a fine mesh, which adds to the work, whereas large text can be distracting. This approach may change as my work evolves and I tread a finer line between art and design.
Balancing the opacity of paint has become as important to me as mixing colour, as transparency is vital for the text to show through. I play with this balance until I am satisfied that I have successfully communicated the underlying message of the piece.
The inspiration for my work often comes from an article I have read or simply the beauty of the text itself, with reoccurring themes of communication, society and decay. Each painting has its own back-story and I like to think that every painting is a new interpretation of the original article.
Communication through structure rather than language is where I am currently focusing my attention and my recent sketches are reflecting more architectural forms.
I am very much looking forward to taking this further in larger paintings.

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The death of Federico Lorca

The death of Fe...

by Paul O'Brien