Continuing through October 8, 2011
Disneyland and Yellowstone National Park provide the backdrops for Kelly O’Connor’s cut-up clashes between the fairy tales of childhood and the grim realities of adulthood in “Post-Utopia.” A childhood portrait taken in front of Yellowstone’s Mammoth Terrace Falls inspired her most complex collage, “Portrait of the Artist’s Room as a Child,” with the tragic Judy Garland as innocent Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” serving as her alter ego.
The water going over the falls features the colors of the rainbow and the Scarecrow is about to be swept away by open parachutes in this giant, three-dimensional shadow box that functions as a landscape of childhood wishes and anxieties. Dorothy appears to be calling to the viewer in a vintage view of “Old Faithful” erupting in colorful six-sided polygons. The forms are derived from the openings in wasp nests, which O’Connor presents gilded and filled with brilliant ceramic orbs painted with shiny nail polish, illustrating her febrile fascination with the clouds found inside silver linings.