John J. O’Connor
Mexada, 2004, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 53 x 82 inches
You Can’t Win, 2008, acrylic, gesso, charcoal, ink, graphite and colore, 78 x 54 inches
Weather Rocket, 2007, Sumi ink, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 19 x 25 inches
Turing, 2010, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 8 x 50 inches
A Strings, 2009, acrylic ink, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 41 x 32 inches
Nostradamus, 2005, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 53 x 83 inches
Mind Controller, 2011, acrylic ink, colored pencil, and graphite on paper, 45 x 30 inches
Chest and Back, 2008, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 55 x 55 inches
Personal Space, 2008, ink, gesso, acrylic, colored pencil, graphite on paper, 80 x 75 inches
S.O.S., 2011, collage, colored pencil, and graphite on shaped paper, 61 x 61 inches
John O’Connor’s work is the result of his immersion in processes, systems, and subjects, both real and invented. He transforms seemingly unrelated and often idiosyncratic systems into highly intricate and nuanced visual manifestations; the result is quirky, complex, and often large-scale drawings on paper rendered primarily in colored pencil and graphite.
Through idiosyncratic and entirely invented systems, he converts what is ordinarily invisible—spoken and written language, chance events, chaos theory—into visual representations that reveal patterns of speech and events.
Ultimately, his use of such isomorphisms can convey the complexity and interconnectedness of everyday life, as well as the hierarchical processing of chance experiences. O’Connor cites antecedents as diverse as John Cage, Rube Goldberg, and Alfred Jensen for his work.
O’Connor (b. 1972) studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000 and received his MFA from Pratt Institute. His work has been exhibited in Copenhagen and in the 40th Anniversary Art on Paper Exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and is included in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.