Diane Rosenstein Gallery presents an exhibition of new paintings by Kent O’Connor. Kent O’Connor will show still lifes and portraits, each painted in oil and executed on an intimate scale. O’Connor, who received his MFA from Yale, was included in Way Out Now last summer. This is his first show with the gallery, and his work will be installed in the Project Room.
Kent O’Connor’s figurative paintings are painted from life, and he composes the portraits over several sessions. O’Connor paints his close friends and family; yet, the executed portraits become their own characters, taking on a personality and resonance remarkable for its strength and presence. The still lifes are a vivid, and somewhat surreal, arrangement of familiar but uninvolved everyday objects. They all are a stage for the light that moves around the objects.
“These paintings are unapologetically what they are. A snake plant in a green house, a friend sitting for me outside, another friend sitting for me outside. There is in a way no vail or trickery or baiting. There is only what I see, a poetry of forms and awkward sitters. A small cityscape through two glass walls, a familiar cold place but too warm on days for a sweater. A person I love watching a program on tv, an endless summer transition after grad school. For better or for worse my brother sits with his back straight and hands together like he’s sitting for a portrait that’ll hang in a banquet hall. Every painting is its own defined by conditions and circumstances in and outside of my control. Making too many plans is detrimental to the process. It’s a delicate balance."
Kent O’Connor (USA, b. 1987) received his MFA from Yale School of Art (2018) and BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore (2011). He lives and works in New Haven, CT.