Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien

Boston, MA, United States

About Kevin O'Brien

BFA in Painting - Studied with John Grillo, (a student of Hans Hoffman), & also Leonel Gongora,, who added a Latin influence to my work. Studio Visits by both Carl Belz, Curator of the Rose Art Gallery at Brandeis University and also by Gillian Levine, co-curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

I am working with a gallery from Vienna, AT, but not exclusively.

I have exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia:

Born in the 50's, eventually influenced by abstract expressionism, be-bop, the beat, etc. Grew up in 60's, with rock and roll, high-energy jazz, etc.

I am a proponent of Pan-Global, Industrial, Supra-Expressionism which attempts to utilize materials from global industrial culture within works created as art. The juxtaposition of the bold expressionistic strokes on the stark, bland industrial materials causes a good deal of tension. The bright colors used in the textures further differentiate the energy of the expressionistic strokes from the dullness of the main materials. I say Pan-Global because it is my belief that all cultures have been absorbed into the Industrialscape, in one way or another, and it is an artist's job to rediscover culture, and re-declare it boldly, without hesitation, using the new vocabulary they have been given, because there is no going backwards. It is "Supra" because an attempt is made to make the expressionistic content real, very real, by accentuating it's physical characteristics.

Reverence for the fine finished patinas that normally apply to art, as in art school or commercial art can be dispensed with for the boldness of an energy more sympathetic with rock and roll (e.g., jimi hendrix), r & b and/or jazz music (e.g., Coltrane). The high-power and energy of these musical expressions had a dramatic impact. Use of industrial materials in new combines (as influenced by Rauschenberg et al.) further stressed new ideas of how materials might be combined, and but also marked a work as having that "finished" look, of which I am not fond.

A new primitive kind of "carpentry" skills were developed to hold these materials together, and worry about loose hanging edges, polish etc. were lost.

Of course, there was a new vocabulary of objects that needed to be created and new motifs that needed to be developed and depicted using this type of expression. My symbols were inspired by Klee, Dubuffet, children's art, the "early" people of many different lands. Of course, everyday objects depicted as in Pop were sucked into this imagery through the industrial-scape. I try to develop a symbol from
pseudo-figurative state, along a continuum until it becomes my own.

The symbols might be fashioned more in the brute manner of Dubuffet, young children or early cultures, as fit more with expressionistic force. But this work cannot be relegated as being "Art Brut", or stereotyped in a similar manner because of its continuous relevant innovation in industrialism. I try to break the energy of the subject into separate
snippets that then fit back together in a manner that makes the whole clear!

The effects of Surrealism on my work helped break things up into new arrangements, pieces, relationships, even melding forms together. Its super-focus and startling sharpness helped provide a basis for the glistening effects I like to add to some works, as if glowing within an industrial subway, or a modern cave. The rearrangement of shape and form helped me to melt normal shapes into new forms, which could better be used to express their industrial energy.

Finally, since, to me, the spiritual is directly self-evident, it is also present in my work. The political and socio-political world are foreign to my art.


BFA - studied with John Grillo (a student of Hans Hoffman). Also studied with Leonel Gongora who added a Latin influence to my work. Local exhibitions, included a long corridor at Boston City Hall where I could display about 30 works, with electronic music by a composer.. Studio Visits -Some contemporary gallery directors (Gillian Levine who was at the ICA, Boston and Carl Belz, who was at the Rose Art Gallery, Brandeis) came to my workspace to see my work (after viewing slides) and were very encouraging.,


See Web Site Homepage for Updated List.

Beer: Glass & Bottle and Homage to Dubuffet's Homage to Klee's Senecio (if it existed) was selected for exhibition by Gallery-Steiner, Vienna, AT
at the Red Dot Art Fair, Dec. 2015

evergreen '15 (Boston Blizzards of 2015) was selected for the Annual Juried Off the Wall Exhibition at the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA

Soup's On, Andy! (Homage to Andy Warhol, 28 Years Later) was selected for Honorable Mention at Arts Connect at Catamount Arts 2015 Juried Members Show Catamount Arts, St Johnsbury, VT

My work Power Double Cheeseburger was just selected for the 2014 Community of Artists Juried Exhibition, to be exhibited from May to August, 2014: at the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA. USA

My work cola 2013 (with label) on subway/graffiti, 2013 is on exhibit from Dec. 13, 2013 - Jan. 30, 2014 at the Midway Channel Gallery!

It's an exciting new collaboration within this space
for a new group of artists!!

EWNS Art Project - The Current Show is now Online!! Under Current Show/click on my name

I have been accepted for an online exhibition by the EWNS Art Project Artist's Committee for 2013 - 2014 EWNS Art Project is a European organization, based in Paris area, France, that focuses on encouraging emerging artists. It's goal is to be a window to the international art scene by presenting a selection of artists to the French market, etc. To see me on their site Click on Aritsts, then Kevin L. O'Brien (kLoB)

My work on Conan O'Brien's Site:
Click on the link to goto the Team Coco Site/Scroll Down to the Picture/Hit the Right Arrow Until you see a Work by kLoB!!

My Work Hamburger
Won the 6TH ArtSlant 2013 Showcase for MultiMedia.
This 7 foot tall hamburger, was constructed using
my own brand of primitive carpentry. It was a seminal work for me

My artwork Star Spangled Banner
was selected to to be displayed,
on a large video screen on the 2nd floor
of the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

My piece van Gogh's Sunflowers
will be in the show "Summer at Large" at Midway Studios,
Boston, MA from June 18th to July 31st, 2013

Took a 5th Place in Non-Representational Sculpture for my mixed-media, 3D painting Google (on my computer screen)!!

My work Skyscraper will be at the 2013 Community of Artists Juried Exhibtion
at the Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
More on my work Skyscraper at the Parallax Art Fair
*Ice Shield Artslant 2013 3RD Showcase Winner - Mixed Media

Article Published about my work on ArtSlant!

Here is a link to my entry in the catalogue of the
Parallax Art Fair
May 16th-18th, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London UK

*Artslant 2011 Showcase Winner(s) - Mixed Media

*American Art Awards 2011 - Category 54,Sculpture:
Non-representational - 5th PLace

*Computer at Phoenix Tech
On exhibit Ferbruary 3-24, 2011 in Online (Dis)Connect
at Altered Esthetics

Big Fish
On exhibit April 5-26, 2007 in Art Reincarnated
at Altered Esthetics

Hi Fi Hamburg
A Finalist Award Winner in ABSTRACTION 2006
International Juried Open Arts Competition
1979 - Exhibit at Boston City Hall
Large Corridor, with 25 pieces exhibited
Martin McCavitt played at the opening


List of Exhibitions, Awards, etc.
New Futures – FPAC - Atlantic Wharf Gallery, Boston, MA 07/25/20 – 09/25/20
HCA – Big Tent- HCA Members Show – Hopkinton, MA - 12/12 – 1/9/2020
FPAC OpenStudio Members Show,Boston, MA – 10/17-12/17/2019
HCA – You:Artist Depict Themselves – Hopkinton, MA - 9/21 – 11/19/2019
Artists Depict Themselves, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Oct. 7-Nov. 19, 2019
Legacy:Through the Eyes of an Artist, Oak Ames Memorial Hall, June 21-23, 2019
Full Spectrum: Fort Point Neighborhood Exhibition, April – August, 2019
Catamount Arts, Trash Bits for Realisim, Solo Exhibition March – April 13, 2019
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Call ForArt, 2018-2019
FPAC @ Envoy: Water Levels 2018
Third Annual Arts Connect/Catamount Arts 2017 Juried Show, St. Johnsbury, VT
Art Busan 2017 BEXCO Hall 1, Busan, KR
Art Expo 2017 NYC, New York, NY, USA
Selected for Le SM'ART Art Fair, FR 2017
Red Dot Art Fair 2016, with Gallery Steiner, in Miami FL
Marbella Art Fair 2016, Spain
Art Expo 2016 NYC, New York, NY
Arts Connect at Catamount Arts 2015 Juried Members Show, St. Johnsbury, VT
Red Dot Art Fair 2015, with Gallery Steiner, in Miami FL
CommunityOfArtists JuriedExhibition 2015,
Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
CommunityOfArtists JuriedExhibition 2014, Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
Midway Channel Gallery, Juried Exhibition, 2014, Boston, MA
EWNS Art Project, Online Juried Exhibition, 2014, Paris, FR
Portarit of Conan O'Brien, On Conan O'Brien's Web Site, 2014
Star Spangled Banner, Selected for Video Loop, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
ArtSlant Prize 6th Prize Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
Off the Wall Juried Exhibition 2013, Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
Parallax Art Fair, May 2013, New York City, NY
ArtSlant Prize 5th Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
EWNS Art Project, Online Juried Exhibition, 2013, Paris, FR
American Art Awards, Mixed Media, 2013
ArtSlant Prize 3rd Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
Summer at Large, Midway Studios, 2103, Boston, MA
Art Review of My Work Published, Land Escape, New Review, June, 2013
Artist Marketing Resources published story on My Work, May, 2013
ArtSlant Prize 3rd Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
ArtSlant Prize 1st Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
Straight Trippin', Altered Esthetics, January 2013, MN
Artslant, Article Published on my work, January 2013
ArtSlant Prize 1st Showcase 2013, Mixed-media, Winner
Red Platform, Midway Studio, Boston, MA, 2103
Parallax Art Fair, May 2012, London, UK
Fort Point Group Show, 2012, Boston, MA
ArtSlant Prize 2nd Showcase 2012, Painting, Winner
Online (Dis)Connect. Altered Esthetics, January 2011, MN
American Art Awards, Mixed Media, 2011
Art Reincarnated. Altered Esthetics, January 2007, MN
Boston City Hall, Long Corridor (solo, 20+ pieces) 1979
Private Studio Exhibition 1979 - for Carl Belz, Curator, Rose Art Gallery and Gillian Levine, Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Lost A Lot of My Work While in Storage Usually Due to Floods During Storms Which Flooded Storage Space