Tim O’Kane’s River Inn

Tim O’Kane’s River Inn
Tim O’Kane’s River Inn
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In his notes about current exhibit, River Inn (at Page Bond Gallery), artist Tom O’Kane says that the mirrors in hotels and motels offer us a freeing view of ourselves, one that we can enjoy without our usual personal stuff all around us. And that while sitting in a chair, we can nakedly appreciate the erotic sensations of being without trappings, on neutral ground. His small skillfully executed paintings and drawings offer much to ponder. They present a narrative with mainly one woman character, a blond, fit woman with a professional hair cut, in mid-life, as she passes the hours of a day in her hotel room, where light plays over her like an indifferent lover. In only one of the ten paintings and two drawings does a man appear, in the buff, emerging from between the room’s requisite two doubles beds, while the woman clad only in artificial light prepares her face in a bathroom mirror.

 

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The addition of the man does provide the suggestion of a relationship between the blonde woman and himself, so that O’Kane’s subjects can break out of their Edward Hopper silences – those of people doing things alone in rooms-  so we can enjoy this cinematic event. In only one painting does no one exist at all – there’s only furniture and light in the rented room. And in only one view the woman in our story is clothed, ironing a garment, which gives us a feeling of her anticipation of something yet to come.

 

O’Kane has in the recent past given us beautiful groupings of objects in jewelly colors. These new paintings provide his re-entry into the place he left off a while ago, of presenting nudes and partially clad characters in lovely narratives. Contemporary trappings (a bottle of spring water on the blonde woman’s night stand, an airplane flying low just outside the picture window) in their browns and grays, offer a lack of lushness that romantic pastoral paintings from nineteenth century artists such as Manet, once provided, as in le Dejeuier sur l’herbe, (The Luncheon on the Grass), where one very naked woman and her scantily clad female bather friend, picnic with two fully-clad men under the trees. We all know that raunchy anecdote was scandalous to Victorians. So now we have a hotel room in which to frolic with much more sobriety, because those rumpled sheets really stand for corporate America.

 

We all know that raunchy anecdote was scandalous to Victorians. So now we have a hotel room in which to frolic with much more sobriety, because those rumpled sheets really stand for corporate America.

 

Tim’s website.

 

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Tim O’Kane

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