“I cried like a baby upon seeing Raft of the Medusa”

Robbie O’Halloran @ The Louvre with Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa”

Beyond being the AGM’s fabulous 2010 summer intern, Robbie O’Halloran is also a gifted conceptual artist and lifelong art lover.

Ten Questions with Robbie O’Halloran, Part 2

6. How’d you get interested in art in the first place? Any particular person/experience inspired you to pursue a career in the field of art?

Art is just what I’ve always done it’s how I’ve always lived. That sounds like a complete cliché, I am aware, and you have my sincerest condolences for that. As a kid, I was always drawing and creating, I’ve just always thought in visual terms, it’s hard to explain. I’ve always created and lived in my own world, and a lot of the time, the only way I can explain what I’m thinking or feeling is through creating something. When words don’t suffice, you have to find other ways to express yourself and that’s what art is for me. My whole family is quite artistic and I guess I also received the gene for it; it’s a little like a physical need to create. My goal is to facilitate the union between my lifestyle, passions and career.

7. Tell me about your art. What kind of projects have you done? What are you working on at the moment?

My aesthetic lies very much in the realm of rustic, and natural forms, and when lacking guiding concepts or ideas of exploration, my work will normally take the form of industrial-looking mixed-media sculptures and installations.

However, I am currently interested in social-psychological processes, and I am sure this will remain constant throughout my artistic career. My current body of work concerns the idea of external influence on internal psychological processes, influencing perception and social behaviour (I know, it’s a mouthful). Simply put, right now, I am interested in drug-use, though I won’t give away too much just yet.

8. As an artist, where do you get your inspiration?

I draw my inspiration from social-psychological processes, and perceptions of my current social environments, be it individual relationships, the social groups I claim membership in or the actions and behaviours between in-groups and out-groups. I also like to draw parallels in the highly constructed and complex social realm of people and the more natural and carnal realm of animals and between past and present social systems.

9. Who are your favourite artists/periods/movements? What do you like about them?

I love everything sublime, from Turner and Constable’s landscapes, Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa (I cried like a baby when I saw it in the Louvre last year), to Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde-preserved animals and even Jenny Holzer’s truisms. I love finding visual beauty in deviation, in exploring all aspects of human behaviour and forcing individual viewers to concede to things that society would condemn. People are always just people, when you take away the convoluted rules and pretty packaging. I also own all of David Shrigley’s books, and I’m planning on getting one of his illustrations tattooed on my body somewhere sometime soon.

10. Other than art, what kind of stuff do you like doing?

Well, I love interior design, tattoo art and fashion. I love school (shhh). I love to travel and explore. Let me drop out of a plane into the wilderness somewhere with a crate of Licks’ Nature Burgers and I would be a happy man. I also have a guilty and passionate desire to become a hip-hop dancer. I love film and obscure documentaries, music, music, music and interesting people, interesting people, interesting people.

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