My name is Maeve O’Briant.
I am a Seattle native residing in Chicago while I attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am currently in the BFA/Art Education program with a strong emphasis in painting and performance practices.
My work tends to circulate around themes of technology and screens as a medium (especially in response to Marshal McLuhan’s The Medium is the Message, which I unpack with the Pixel Project). I’m very interested in the evolution of media and the manipulation of perception given a certain medium, which is why I chose to capture the new confusion regarding nonrepresentational images in screens in a more traditional medium: painting. However, I attempt to skew the loaded connotations that come along with painting by incorporating other media such as acetate sheet “screens.” A huge part of my process in painting screens comes from the content which the pixels represent; they are often taken from actual images that have been censored by Instagram. after pixelating, color-matching, and painting these images, I then re-post it on Instagram and the body part being censored is no longer detectable or socially unacceptable in the new medium.
I also have a strong association with the label of feminist art; I would not overtly call my work feminist as it usually is either very specific (my own personal experience) or very broad (an umbrella under which labels hopefully don’t function). That being said, my work is often fueled by my own female experience and how that interacts with the rest of my identity and my role in society, and in turn the role of my voice as a woman with enough privilege to make art.
On a more personal note, what makes me truly happy is painting, specifically abstracted landscapes and everyday visions. I love trying to create a specific sensation in my application of paint to display recognizable content while also visually displaying how it feels to be in the presence of then same content.
I almost always treasure the concept first and form my medium around it, choosing what would best lend itself to articulating the concept. In that sense, I am very much a interdisciplinary artist with no real attachment to a particular medium.
I also have experience in performing arts such as theatre and practiced classical ballet within the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus.
I have been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards with a Gold Key at state level and a Silver Key for my AP portfolio at state level; The Washington State Reflections Awards, 2nd Place; Passing the Torch Metal Guild, 2nd Place award for jewelry.
I have done album and promotional artwork for various musicians including Henry Mansfield and Ry Jones, and poster artwork and costume design for local plays. I have also spent a fair bit of time as a self-employed portrait photographer, mostly focusing on senior portraits and breaking the homogeneous style of that entire tradition. I am the designer for Page 1 Books, a book subscription service, creating their logo and visual identity.
I hope to continue to grow outside of my self-made thematic patterns as more options open up to me.