Collector’s Choice: Conor O’Brien



Conor O’Brien

Belfast, Northern Ireland


I recently graduated with a degree in Fine Art at Ulster University, Belfast. My art is created through a range of media such as painting, drawing, and most recently, photography. I aim for my work to be multilayered, both visually and conceptually, so that it is has the potential to portray numerous narratives to the viewer, varying widely depending on their experiences in life, and for the subject matter to be viewed in a wider context beyond the frame of the image.

My influences range from the theatrical depictions of the physical and emotional human state in Caravaggio’s paintings and the surreal dreamlike settings conjured up by Salvador Dali, to contemporary photographers such as Gregory Crewdson, known for his elaborately stage scenes of American neighbourhoods, and David LaChapelle, famous for his hyper-realistic photographs with strong social messages. Though, my greatest inspiration is everything I see, feel and experience throughout my life.

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Through my early photographic ventures, I have explored the perception of a photograph being a static image representing one moment frozen in time; the mysterious atmosphere and psychological mindset at night; and the symbolisation and implications of architecture, space and light. Through the structural composition, colourful array of lights and cinematic quality of each scene, I try to find the beauty in the conventionally ugly and neglected parts of the city that are hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, while maintaining the somewhat unsettling, melancholic mood that these scenes evoke.






Topography Series

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Collector’s Choice: Marlene Burns

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Marlene offers an exciting, expressive, experimental and exceptional body of work. She doesn’t like to categorize herself, but like those of the abstract expressionist movement, she plays with color, edgy design and mixed media to produce art that befits the process. Her newest series of hybrid images, abstract photography and paintings combined, is the most exciting series of her career.

She lives and works in Tucson, Arizona where she specializes in clients and interior designers who need custom artwork for luxury homes. Her work has been exhibited from California to New York, most notably in Santa Fe.

Marlene Burns is a double degreed professional artist, with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati, School of Design, Architecture and Art.



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Marlene Burns’ Work

Marlene’s work carries the abstract toughness of the urban streets, and demonstrates the artist’s eye for dynamic composition and movement. Bold shapes intersect each image, leading the eye in many directions. Straight edge cuts across the image next to circular patterned areas, presenting a kind of visual dialogue, a partnership of contrast.

Written by Janis Kirstein

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