Bio

 

Christy E. O’Connor (b. 1982) is an American interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in the New York metropolitan area.  She received her BA in visual arts at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She has shown her work in galleries and museums throughout the region and extending out through the U.S., including Ceres Gallery in New York, InLiquid Gallery in Philadelphia, Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, Shockboxx Gallery in Hermosa Beach, California, and Water Works Art Museum in Montana. O’Connor has been awarded artist residencies to ESKFF (Jersey City, NJ) in 2021 and ChaNorth (Pine Plains, NY) in 2023, to name a few.

Prior to her professional art practice, O’Connor was an educator, teaching early childhood and special needs learners. In 2015, O’Connor transitioned her focus towards a full-time arts career. Her continued passion for education and learning has driven her research and the themes she follows in her work, incorporating historical and literary references.  She is always learning new techniques and processes, finding multifaceted ways to express her vision. In 2020 she began experimenting with performance art and wearable sculpture in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued this practice in new directions of exploration and expression.

In addition to her own art practice, O’Connor has acted as an independent curator since 2017 and worked at BSB Gallery in Trenton, NJ from 2018-2020 as a gallery manager and curator. While at BSB Gallery, she coordinated educational programming and events that related to each exhibition she curated.

Some of O’Connor’s most notable independent curations included Violent Devotion (2021) at Hamilton Street Gallery and Thought & Prayers, Another Round of Vacant Stares (2020) at ChaShaMa Matawan.  In 2020, she also served as a guest juror for Monmouth Museum’s 42nd Annual Juried Exhibition.

To learn more about O’Connor’s curatorial work click on the link below.

Curatorial Work

Awards and Recognitions:

 
  • 2024    ArtLab Gallery, Artist in Residence, Mendham, NJ
  • 2024    GardenShip, IN7, Kearny, NJ
  • 2024    Bischoff Inn Micro-Residency, Tamaqua, PA
  • 2023    ChaNorth Residency, Pine Plains, NY
  • 2022    Elsewhere Studios, Artist in Residence, Paonia Colorado
  • 2022    Eileen Kaminsky Family Foundation, two time recipient Artist in Residence,  MANA Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
  • 2020    AlterWork Studio, Artist in Residence,  Long Island City, NY
  • 2017    Creative Capital, Artist Professional Development Program,  Artworks, Trenton, NJ

Statement

 

I create immersive installations and narrative bodies of work as story telling devices. Through a combination of 2d mixed media, sculpture, wearable art, and performance I depict female archetypes and surreal entities inspired by mythology and literature, historical reference points, and contemporary media.

The visual landscape of my work often faces two opposing dichotomies, from dark and visceral, to vivid color hues filled with camp. The common thread seen throughout my work can be seen through my use of surrealism, kitsch aesthetic, maximalist approach and embellishment.

My work often reflects on my own fears and anxieties I experience as a woman living in a post-capitalist America, with an ever increasing awareness of my existence as a commodity with a limited shelf life. I attempt to ease my anxieties over income instability through satire and dark humor in my ongoing series On Love & Consumption. In this series I explore subjects of income inequality, excess and waste, and the objectification and exploitation of women through a caricature of a modern day Marie Antoinette taking center stage within my visual imagery.

Using a darker color palette, and inspiration derived from the silent film era, and Victorian gothic sensibilities, I create multilayered works within several series that address gender and patriarchy, my discomfort with the male gaze, and perceived societal values placed on women. As I continue to age and move about the world, I consider memory and mortality, and the limitations imposed on women throughout history, which still persist today in many communities, that can keep them from leading fully realized lives.