O’SULLIVAN’s painting process salvages, expands and reinvents the coded icons and systems of modernity. Oil, crushed charcoal, marble dust & paper-mâché on canvas create an impastoed lexicon that subverts the rational philosophy or formal reductivism of the modern to create new verbal and pictorial prophecies.
O’SULLIVAN’s visual mantra of masks, totems, improvised architecture and modeled figurative appendages is conjoined through an autonomous flow of current streaming from stoicism to hysteria. His influences combine elements of Paleolithic cave painting, the Baroque, Russian Suprematism and 20th Century American and German painting to generate a process of working that revels in a perpetual state of evolution and devolution.
The painting Pope NO (2009) portrays “the golden paramecium that slithers to the Darwinian finishing school of transcendence and into troglodytic form.” The troglodyte figure, an individual that only roughly resembles a civilized human, is confronting the viewer with its otherworldly existence and innocent stare. With it the artist engages the raw id, utilizing an internal image bank of memories, invented forms and textures that have been codified and expanded to invoke a range of art historical language from the ancient to the modern.
O’SULLIVAN holds a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1999) and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York (2006). He had a solo exhibition at The Happy Lion, Los Angeles (2006) and has been included in group exhibitions curated by Dan Cameron, David Hunt, Omar Lopez-Chahoud and Bob Nickas. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.