Angel O’Brien, The Distance of Forgetting
October 1–31, 2020
Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 14, 5:00 PM
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In her series, The Distance of Forgetting, photographer Angel O’Brien uses self-portraiture to look inward while exploring her place in the world around her. The images in the series are the result of intuitive processes, and O’Brien’s unconventional poses and surreal manipulation of her body visualize the complex, layered nature of identity while also disrupting conventional expectations of femininity. Similarly, the artist pushes photography into experimental territory, often using multiple alternative analog and digital photographic processes and incorporating graphite, colored pencil, and ink into her handmade prints.
As O’Brien explains, “I’m giving the viewer not simply a picture, but instead a moment in time that may explore melancholy, censorship, sight/insight/blindness, daydreaming or simply existing in the world as a woman, mother, lover, or friend. Though I use myself in my work, and certainly my experiences influence what I create, I don’t really see it necessarily as self-portraiture. These works are not meant to solely tell my story, but rather are inspired by the experiences of being a woman in the world today.”
Angel O’Brien is a writer and artist based in Portland and San Francisco. Her photography has been exhibited in the United States and in Europe, most recently at Lightbox Photographic Gallery in Astoria and the Albatross Gallery in Gold Hill, Oregon. The Distance of Forgetting was selected for the Critical Mass Top 200 in 2019.