Linda Warren Gallery (Chicago): Alex O'Neal

 Linda Warren Gallery: Alex O'Neal

June 26, 2009 until August 17, 2009 // Linda Warren Gallery // Chicago, IL

The gallery is excited to kick off summer with an exhibition of recent work by Alex O’Neal - his second solo show at Linda Warren Gallery. The exhibition runs from June 26 through August 17, 2009. The artist’s continuing life experiences and fascinations continue to inform paintings and elaborate oil pastel drawings in which a world full of eccentric, dynamic characters compete, even scream, for attention. Though their origins emanate from prior work – and the artist’s upbringing in the Mississippi Delta - they have developed a definitive, unabashed dress code of glam rock/punk rock/drag - accompanied by all the paraphernalia needed to make such a loud and dramatic fashion statement.

Working in the vein of Southern Gothic, O’Neal puts ostracized individuals, superstars, and superheroes center stage in his narratives to address a cacophony of ideas surrounding disguise, dysfunction, secrecy, anarchy, community, religious fervor, power, struggle, nature, “homegrown terrorism”, hope, passion and inspiration. O’Neal believes that the newest work “speaks more personally and specifically, referring more to the dysfunctional family unit” saying he, “in a way, is Pop-Artizing a small dysfunctional community, that…has its resident anarchists and terrorists, veiled in disguises…ready to drop their trademark bombs at family gatherings”.

Alex O’Neal received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1979 and his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. He has been the recipient of many fellowships and awards, including from the Guggenheim Foundation in 1999, New York Foundation for the Arts in 2001, and National Endowment for the Arts 1987-1988. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries both here and abroad, and can be found in many prestigious private collections around the globe. Although he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, Artist Residency programs continue to play a big part in the development of O’Neal’s visual language, as he has enjoyed over a dozen of such experiences throughout the United States and Europe in the past 15 years.

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