David O’Brien’s Digital Collages of Millions of Tiny Figures

I recently met David O’Brien through a mutual friend while checking out various openings in the Culver City gallery district of Los Angeles.  This type of event draws a specific demographic, and the likelihood that you will end up discussing various aspects of art/the art world is exactly one hundred percent.  Often times these discussions involve an exchange of websites, and an eventual glance into the practice of your recently met acquaintance.  I would be lying if I said that I am generally impressed by the endeavors of my newly made friends, but this time was a pleasant surprise. Not only is David O’Brien a genuinely funny and nice human being – his work is just as engaging to be around.

In his ongoing series Human Entropy O’Brien continues to build a collection of mass portraits using a series of hyper-collage diagrams that investigate personal relationships in a truly unique way.   Much in the same way a painter (in the romantic sense of the word) may have many colors on their palette – O’Brien continues to photograph and amass an array of different people/poses as a personal visual vernacular for composing dynamic large-scale photographs.  O’Brien begins establishing the structure of each piece by placing one figure down at a time, and then repeating this process until the work reaches a level of depth and space that serves his aesthetic and conceptual needs.  Patterns begin to organically emerge from these localized interactions between individual forces to create some very compelling images.

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Rune Olsen at Johansson Projects

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Rune Olsen has created an installation for Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA. The piece addresses the issue of children on leashes, with a nod to Duchamp’s Mile of String. Apparently, Olsen and myself have both become skeptical of this rather primitive method for controlling one’s child. I mean, this is 2010, Lindsay has a scram bracelet, Coco the Pomeranian is accosted with high-pitched buzzing from her collar every time she barks–where are the similar techie solutions to child rearing? Oh right, normally we reserve that sort of methodology for criminals and dogs.

Olsen approaches the issue with a similar sense of humor, while creating a highly confrontational space for the viewer to interact with. A playful installation, addressing a serious concern.

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