Maria O'Brien

The starting point of my work is landscape and portraiture. I like to explore ideas of figures in specific contexts and landscapes. Through the interaction of the figure and the scene I examine ideas of pathetic fallacy and kitsch. Pathetic fallacy is a theme linked with romanticism and kitsch is a by-product of it. I am interested in "Bad Painting" whether it is naive or primitivism or kitsch. Kitsch especially interests me. I like to look at landscape in relation to kitsch and how nature is perceived through it. I like ideas of leisure-time and this has a strong link to kitsch.

Photography influences my work also. It is a product of modern lives and has made an unmistakable aesthetic mark on art and the way we perceive and use painting. I paint from photographs and some times make paintings the same size as a standard photograph.

Like many artists today I am developing my work at a time when traditional values in painting are appreciated again but used in a now more ironical way.