Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ian O'Neill - Painter - RAW Minneapolis

"Self Portrait"
Ian O'Neill
Name: Ian O'Neill
City/State:Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:'Neill

My name is Ian James O'Neill, and I am a Designer and Artist. I am in my last year at the University of Minnesota in pursuit of my Graphic Design, BFA. I have always loved the Visual Arts, my practice of Design and Painting allow me to examine different aspects of visual communication that the different mediums offer.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work has gone through radical transformations over the course of the last few years. I began painting about 7 years ago, and was fortunate to have mentors who exposed me to different ways of approaching painting. As I have become more confident with my painting, I have experimented. I use Acrylics, Watercolors, and Oils to try to find to exploit the possibilities of each of these mediums.

Beau Ideal IV

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I hope that through my art, the audience is forced to look at the little things in life differently. In my upcoming exhibition, I am displaying a series I have been working on of portraiture. With this series I focus on each brushstroke being an integral part of the whole. It is very loose, dynamic, and free, but still create recognizable forms. This is a comment on each little part being essential to the whole, and also the order that can be achieved from the chaos of different lines.

Beau Ideal III

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I always thought that the simple slogan, "Just do it" has incredible power in it. NIKE got it right. Most of my projects are not planned, and I just had to sit and just start.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I could probably sum up my work space with one word: Chaos. I cannot throw things away, I hoard everything. I trying to rearrange one of the many piles of the things I collect, I found crazy reflective paper, and paint samples that I said I would use 4 years ago. My creative process is just that, sorting through the chaos to try to find something of substance. I am very critical of my own work, and constantly work and rework projects for extended periods of time. In a lot of my work the chaos is visible, but a lot of times the result is clean and organized, but I feel that it is still only a more organized chaos.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
One of my first true inspirations was Gregory Euclide. He was my instructor for 4 years throughout high school and was a catalyst in the development of some of my work.

Another artist that I had the pleasure of meeting is Ben Olson. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he studied Painting and Graphic Design. The same fields of study that occupy my everyday. The dynamism of his work struck me instantly, it's very expressive and powerful.

Beau Ideal II

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

If we were to go on this art adventure, we could start right on campus at the U of M. The Weisman Art Museum is a cool little place to run in between classes. Then a quick jaunt across 35W to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts would be warranted. Coming October they have an exhibit on Japanese Prints which have always fascinated me. Also Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists, and MIA has his painting The Olive Trees. Incredible. Then onto the Walker Art Center to walk through the sculpture garden. One of my best memories of the Walker is walking in and spending almost the entire time staring at the work by Yves Klein and Chuck Close. Getting up right next to one of Close's huge paintings is pretty amazing.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I run from blog to blog, often stemming from It's a portal, and sucks up a lot of my time.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Coming up on August 25th, 2011 I am involved with the RAW MINNEAPOLIS artists. This is a one night exhibition @ the Fine Line Music Cafe on 1st Avenue in Minneapolis. Come check out (event link) what we got going on!
Thursday 8/25/11
The Fine Line Music Cafe

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