Skip to main content Matt O’Neill: Thrift Store Sublime

Matt O’Neill: Thrift Store Sublime

March 29, 2014 - July 13, 2014

“A painter can still go into the studio with an armful of crude materials and like a shaman can summon something up.
It’s a type of magic.” –Matt O’Neill, 2014

Since relocating to Colorado from Chicago in the 1980s, Matt O’Neill has remained one of our region’s most exciting artists. Naturalistic realism has defined his style for most of the time since and has earned his the high regard of many longtime regional artists, curators, and art critics. Whether portraits of his neighbors in the Five Points area of Denver or of spotty teenagers taken from yearbook photos, O’Neill’s subjects often derive from cultural nostalgia combined with surrealism and humor. In many of his paintings, such as the FAC’s F.F.A. Sweetheart, the O’Neill takes a uniquely western subject and renders it through the prism of Picasso’s simultaneous reverence and bizarrely mocking abstraction. This kind of work set O’Neill on a path to some of the more purely abstract works he has focused on for the past decade.