Blood, Sweat and Tears by Gerard O’Connor
Exhibition dates: 6 – 28 August 2010
Blood, Sweat and Tears is an exhibition celebrating new photographic works by Australian photographer Gerard O’Connor. Gerard has been working in collaboration with stylist Marc Wasiak and retoucher Harry Rekas for nearly ten years, and they are renowned for their commercial work here and overseas. These large scale photographic works are forged by the artists’ shared background in design, fashion and advertising. This exhibition combines the grandeur of historic painting with the glamour of contemporary staged and constructed styling and photography.
The artists- coming from a background in fashion- utilize costume, with its social and political implications as a focal point of the imagery. Drawing from this plentiful history, they create an ornate tableau of meaning and surface. Colour symbolism has been used effectively to portray and heighten emotional aspects of the scenarios. In Battle, the red jackets symbolize anger and blood. In Funeral, black clothing- originally popularized by Queen Victoria’s extended mourning period- is utilized. The extreme to which many elements are taken, results in the work almost becoming comical, a parody of the incredible sense of loss one experiences with a lost loved one. The images take on a painterly affect that, like the costume, reflects images of the period era. Masterfully shot and composited, these artworks are something to behold.
The work of Gerard O’Connor is everything you want great art to be; exhilarating and rich enough with life and form to sustain repeated viewings.