David O'Kane. Golden Fleece Award 2014

Medium: Painting

Website: http://www.davidokane.com

Continuum The Circle Looking Forward The Change Looking Back Grunewald


Gallery Baton has invited me to prepare an large solo exhibition for their new gallery space in Seoul, South Korea in June 2014. I will also begin approaching public institutions in Ireland for solo exhibitions in 2015.  I require funding to support the production of new paintings and drawings, and for the rental of a studio space for the months leading up to my exhibition in Korea and so that I can produce an artist’s book to accompany the exhibition.

In October 2012 I graduated from my Meisterschüler studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig under Professor Neo Rauch.  This represented the culmination of 10 years of Study in Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy and Germany.  I generated 2 extensive solo exhibitions for my graduation.  Much of the artwork for one of these exhibitions was created at the Villa Schomburgk as a site-specific installation involving painting, drawing, printmaking and animation.  The second exhibition took place at the Josef Filipp Gallery in the Spinnerei, where I exhibited an immersive installation of 24 paintings and a series of large format paintings. Due to the success of these exhibitions I have been offered a solo exhibition at Gallery Baton in Seoul, South Korea.  This exhibition will represent a major development in my career.

Studying in Ireland and Europe has equipped me with a variety of new skills and broadened my approach to making art.  As a professional artist I have exhibited extensively abroad and built up a substantial network of contacts, however due to my studies and the numerous exhibitions I have undertaken abroad I have been under represented in Ireland.  Now that my studies have come to successful conclusion I have returned to Ireland and exhibit in several public venues in the coming years.

Artist Statement

David O’Kane’s artwork explores pre-accepted narratives, images and histories of individuals, places and ideas through the prism of play.  These elements are dissected and disassembled in order that they may be questioned at the most fundamental level.  They are then reassembled according to a subjective set of rules dictated by the research material in question.  The artworks are formed through various labour intensive processes of painting and drawing.  These games play with how meaning is interpreted and reinterpreted in the individual’s imagination over time.

Philosophical, scientific and literary texts inform O'Kane’s process of constructing the conceptual foundation of his artworks.  Psychological, cinematic and art historical influences play a crucial role during the presentation and installation of the work.  Interventions into found spaces, especially ‘romantic ruins’ with their own intractable histories, have been utilized as contexts for an encounter with the installations.  These installations harness and interrogate specific spaces as essential parts of each artwork.

Repetition and the uncanny (as a concept and psychological tool) perform an increasingly important structural function in his work. Through the use of repetition, the notion of a unique art object is interrogated and sometimes confounded, as it is reencountered in subtly altered forms within various scenarios and spaces at different times. 

Imagery and concepts are investigated in a manner similar to scientific thought experiments, which probe for a reaction from the artist and the viewer.  The work often exposes a failure of perception and interpretation that hints at some form of border to the mode of representation and the thought processes employed.  It is precisely this grey area at the border of understanding that fascinates O'Kane and provides the impetus for his artwork