These paintings are a product of my dueling instincts to reveal and obscure. They arise from questions of intimacy and disclosure, loss and longing. I'm fascinated by painting's ability to simultaneously hold multiple types of space—pictorial, symbolic, cognitive—and how combinations of these can, in turn, evoke psychological or emotional locations. I work intuitively, combining images from memory with those that I've photographed or found, whether architectonic, landscape, figurative, or scientific. I often begin with a composition or a type of space in mind; then color comes in to illuminate or confuse, to make a shape appear simultaneously as space and flat plane. As the painting progresses, I often lose my way and then recognize the path I'm looking for, even though I've never seen it before.
Originally from Massachusetts, Brooklyn-based artist Erin O'Brien holds an MFA from Bard College and a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art; she also studied at Central St. Martins College of Art, London. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Bernard Toale Gallery and the Gallery@Green Street, Boston; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; and the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, Massachusetts; among others. O'Brien has been awarded residencies by the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, New York, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado.