Friday, September 28, 2007

JOpinion: Conor Harrintgon

Conor Harrington is a sick painter hailing from Cork, Ireland. Currently living in London, Conor Harrington is getting big and showing work all over the world. His work is a mix of fine art and street life with vivid, crisp images balanced by blurred and smeared streaks of graffiti and urban culture. His use of light and negative space adds to his unique and developing style. Conor Harrington paints male figures to represent the masculinity of urban culture. Contrary to intuition, these aren't hoods or Gs that represent the streets, but rather the real man who doesn't need to prove or define himself exept by his own means. His figures are pensive individuals with stories showing strength, courage, struggle . . life.

At only 27, Conor Harrington has just scratched the surface of potential and I know he's going to be around for a long time. In my opinion he is one the best artists out there today. Here is some of his work.

I stared at this one for five minutes trying to figure out it was a photo or a painting. I was thinking "If this is a photo its cool, but if this is a painting its sick." Well, this one is SICK. For Conor Harrington, this one is more straightforward. Right off the bat this one displays his talent, and his play with whats in front and what is background is a nice touch. There is also a sense of movement in this, even though the figure is so stoic.

This is one of my favorites. This is where his cleverness shows. I really dig the way the face takes up a relatively small area of the space but yet it demands attention and focus. It is also so smart the way he makes the figure looks like a stencil. Ha, if only stencils like this existed.

I have no idea how he pulled this one off. Its just nuts. There's so much going on in this piece, but what gets me is how he got the splatter. It would maybe make sense if he were using acrylics (which would still be crazy), but knowing this was done in oil confuses me. Its like he directed the splatter and blur to do what he wanted. This one really shows good planning.

This one should probably be named awesome. The subtlety and calmness really gives this piece strength. There is almost a figure hiding in the blurred mass. I also like the way the man's back seems more hallow than transparent. It gives me a feeling of depth and ironically fullness.

This says "Conor Harrington is REdiculous!" I can't . . its just . . he is . aklewhlsd8*&#Uaska8'#oiejf . . . this one is money. The hint of a face is what really makes this picture (in my opinion). You can feel the sadness and somberness that fills this piece. The detached hand questions if its really his and makes me wonder what its offering. Is it a consoling hand or an offering hand or just his? This one rocks.

This one is RAD with two Ds. This light really carries this piece and gives its mad strength. Conor Harrington is so clever . . the way he makes the shadows transparent. Just great! Or how the shirt drips off. PLus, the color in this piece are just perfect.

This is another one that made me think "No way, this is definitely a photo." His ability to capture life so accurately is amazing. Just the pants alone would sell it, but the jacket and the face are just so good. Again he uses the shadows and makes them transparent. The mood of this piece is also great. Not just the expression of the man's faces, but the overall mood of this one really speaks and tells a story.

Ok, just seeing the floor alone speaks to Conor Harrington's ability to capture . . . whatever the hell Conor Harrington wants to capture. But the detail and feeling in this one speaks to the fact that art is more than just remaking life. I think in all of his pieces he displays and spells out what art really is.

Conor Harrington is obviously influenced by the streets. He started doing graffiti when he was 14, and now you can find some of his "fine art, street art love child" on the streets of New York, Ireland, London and random parts of northern Europe. How crazy would that be to just be walking under an overpass and see one of these? I know I'm going to keep my eyes open. In fact, you should too. There is a lot of really good street artists out there, creating with the mind set that art should be free and in public, not hung on some white wall in a pretentious gallery (not all of them suck). Anyway, Conor Harrington is definitely a cool kid. I mean, he has dreds!

On another note, my collaborative website is finally up (still being worked on, but up) so check it out from time to time. The JOpinion will be on it, so I might start writing other things here (in addition to the JOpinion)


Nooy said...

John, I dunno where you come up with these but this guy is sooo gooood! I love how he shows he is a good painter yet doesnlt just copy off of life, he like.. makes it his own. It's like skill and imagination and I cannot get enough of it! Again thanks for sharing :D I need more art in my life!

Brittany said...

so i think that this place should be your life updates page/profiles of cool people, so you dont only write on your jotiumitch page only :)

Jon said...

thats the plan