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 mediums 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.