Justin Liam O'Brien Paints Loneliness as a "Pathological Condition"
by Emily Steer
Loneliness is never far from Justin Liam O'Brien's paintings. In Bread on a Seder Plate, a new work which is currently showing at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, five lively figures are crowded around a brightly lit table, apparently deep in dinner party conversation, while two more sleep on the sofa behind them. But it is the eighth figure who really catches the viewer's attention. Standing alone, he looks off canvas and appears to blend with his surroundings, his clothes and even his skin are tinged with the soft blue grey of the wall behind him. He is a figure that many people will relate to; most have felt this sense of sinking loneliness at some social event or other, hoping that the room might just swallow them up.
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