The Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York recently exhibited a selection of photo montages by New Jersey born John O’Reilly. Read on to find out more about how the artist’s exquisite, sexually charged, dream-like collages also hark back to salient moments in the history of art.
John O’Reilly’s photographic collages are chock-full of art historical references as well as dark, often gay, erotic and pornographic allusions. The artist uses complex compositional elements in order to explore a garbled, dream-like world which sits on the fine line between the refined and the obscene, the classic and the sexually perverse.
Using razor blades, glue, and an old Polaroid camera, the artist thoughtfully collages photographs and found materials to create new worlds which intertwine very distinct and disparate realities. The artist himself has admitted a penchant for this clash between the sleaze of pornography and the righteousness of a beautiful masterpiece which is so often featured in his works.
Caravaggio especially, seems to be one of O’Reilly’s points of departure as many bits and pieces of the master of chiaroscuro can be easily pointed out as it is embedded in a number of the works on display.
John O’Reilly was born in New Jersey in 1930. Critical praise came to him in 1995 when his work was included in the Whitney Biennial. Since then, his work can be found in the collections of numerous museums, among which the MoMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
For further info as well as images visit: http://www.tibordenagy.com/