Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student to feature art at Canterbury Chapel


Patrick O’Brien thinks mainstream modern art is lazy.

“I [compare] it to writing down a synopsis for a story, and then trying to publish that,” O’Brien said. “It’s the idea without the application. People are making millions of dollars off of it.”

O’Brien, a junior majoring in art, prefers to receive his inspiration from his everyday life.

“I think a lot of times it can be as simple as what you ate that day that can inspire you. … Food really inspires me,” he said.

O’Brien’s artwork will be featured in an exhibit at Canterbury Chapel during August. He said many of his featured works will have a food theme.

In addition to food, music provides some of his inspiration.

“I think a lot of times, music has to have art surrounding it to be successful,” O’Brien said. “People can pick up an album and if the picture on it doesn’t look cool, they won’t buy it. I’ve done that.”

O’Brien said his inspiration comes from rock bands such as Tool, Circa Survive and Mudvayne. He described his style as closest to surrealism, a movement that started in the late 1910s and early 1920s, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

According to an essay written by James Voorhies, an employee of the department of European paintings for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, using Freudian methods of free association, [surrealism] draws upon the private world of the mind, often restricted by reason and societal limitations, to produce surprising and unexpected imagery.

While originally he preferred less-permanent pencil drawings, O’Brien said his major inspired him to venture into other media.

“I had one professor, in particular, who each time we did a work of art, we had to try something new. It just drove me crazy, but starting out, I was completely terrified of paint,” O’Brien said. “It’s just one of those things you have to force yourself to do.”

O’Brien said his advice to other painters would be to look at things from a new angle.

“We have to observe something from different aspects in order to describe meaning to it,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien’s artwork will be on display in the Canterbury Chapel gallery Aug. 1-30. The gallery features works of local artists displayed in the hallways of the church and student center, according to the chapel’s website.

A reception will be held Aug. 16 from 5-10 p.m. and will be open to the public.


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