Photo credit: Yayo Tavolara
Mira O’Brien for M. Legere
I have created several new watercolor and ink paintings for M. Legere that join my work in painting series “Imperfect Barriers.” Imperfect Barriers takes the unraveling diamond grid of a chain-link fence as its starting point, at once an abstract pattern in its combinations and an actual physical unraveling diamond grid form. The chain-link fence is an ever-present part of our constructed environment, and one of many signifiers in the urban landscape. There is an inherent tension in this spatial barrier that is made visible through the disruptions produced in the grid when the fence is cut open and then mended back together. The resulting patchwork may trace an unwilling collaboration between opposite sides of the fence, a pulling open on the one side and a pulling shut on the other. The context of the fences is left unspecified, leaving in doubt which side of the fence one is on.
As an artist, O’Brien attempts to expose the threat of fragility as a kind of delicate aggression, through a practice of multidisciplinary work. This is not the aggression of direct conflict, but a more reflexive and insidious kind of destruction. A force already put into play by the inherent instability of solid states and structures, as one perceives and experiences them. She seeks the in -between spaces that undermine the assuredness of solidity, and facilitate a shift in focus from solid forms to their shadows, reflections and traces.
Mira O’Brien, is an American artist, independent, and living and working in Berlin. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Fine Art and Philosophy at UCLA, and her Masters of Fine Arts at Yale University. O’Brien’s work has been in selected solo exhibitions in Berlin, Venice, Zurich, and San Francisco, and exhibited in group shows in New York, Mallorca, Sydney, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico amongst other locations.
Alongside her artwork, O’Brien shares a passion for teaching and bringing creativity into the lives of her students. She is the founding artist and instructor of the Berlin Drawing Room, offering studio workshops with a focus on drawing and painting. She is also a regularly-featured speaker on the role of drawing in contemporary art. Her past research includes traveling across the desert in Uzbekistan to witness the disappearance of the Aral Sea.
"Mira’s work impresses the instant you look at it. There is a tension between perfection and chaos. All is perfectly intended yet unconventional and impulsive." –Yayo Tavolara, The Studio Visit (TSV) web journal