"Armed with the postmodern trends of appropriation, pastiche and ironic estrangement, the works question ideas of originality and authorship while remaining engaged with painting traditions"
Rob O’Connor’s paintings are provocative and intelligent in their intertextuality. The Glover Prize winning artist is as well known for his formidable skill as a painter as for his wry wit, in works where explicit political parody and social commentary are fragmented by the artist’s own intimate observational asides. O’Connor’s works are technically powerful, irrepressibly earnest and persistently relevant.
Coveting the techniques of history’s greatest both conceptually and materially, O’Connor is a self-vandalising master painter. He borrows Courbet’s light and shares an inside joke with Caravaggio. His command of irony, pastiche and philosophical absurdism is both confronting and contagious, as he picks Kafka’s pockets and reads the essays of Montaigne alongside the classifieds and other people’s mail.
Rarely does a blurring of high and low cultures, a palette that draws street art and fine art together, result in such humorous and skilfully executed paintings. O’Connor boldly dismantles hierarchies and subtly undermines the veracity of established value as he perfects his craft, capturing the brilliant sheen of the morning sun falling across piles of coloured garbage bags.