Lights Out
10 Aug 2006
Nellie Castan Gallery

david o’brien: lights out

10 August – 3 September 2006

Lights Out, David O'Brien's latest exhibition captures atmospheric scenes of child super heroes, boxers and wild creatures akin to the darker characters found in children's fantasies.

O'Brien imagines the unseen and unknown inhabitants of the night, inviting adventure and trepidation and illuminating children’s attraction to fear. As with dreams and nightmare imaginings, his mis en scène present undercurrents of mysteriousness, curiosity and fear combined.

O’Brien’s darkly coloured landscapes with long dusk shadows act as an audience for a happening. Recently O’Brien has focused on historic boxing images. Encountered in clearings within dense woodlands, they are spot lit as if “in the ring”. Their alternate representations of strength and vulnerability deployed through their combative stance signify society’s relentless pressure to project publicly an alter ego so different to one’s own internal self-image.

O’Brien often combines enamel with oil, working on both board and canvas. Well known for utilizing discarded cigar boxes, O’Brien paints his mis en scène on small boards, which are then inserted inside. The result is a quasi ‘cabinet of curiosity’, allowing the viewer to open and close these worlds at a whim.

David O’Brien’s background is in illustration and design, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Swinburne University of Technology in 1987. O’Brien is also known as one of the characters from Sean Condon’s Lonely Planet books, ‘Sean and David’s Long Drive’ and ‘Drive-Thru America’. This will
be his sixth solo exhibition and second at Nellie Castan Gallery.

level 1, 12 river street, south yarra, victoria 3141
opening: 6 - 8pm Thurday 10 August
exhibition ends: Sunday 3 September
hrs: tuesday to sunday 12-5pm  t: 03 9804 7366

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