Gerard O’Connor

Gerard O’Connor working with Stylist Marc Wasiak creates vast panoramic dramas that take a satirical slant on a range of historical periods and social milieus. Inspired by the engravings of William Hogarth and the cartoons of Robert Crumb, and staged with the sweeping assurance of a Hollywood production crew, these tableaux involve many characters in front of the camera and a large team of technicians behind it. The results are breath-taking. And, while his approach is edgy and his subject matter frequently beyond the purview of polite good taste, they have always found audiences both here and overseas respond powerfully and positively to the work. I know of no other photographer creating images quite like these. Gerard’s approach to image-making – to the stories his images tell – is often audacious. He takes on difficult subjects and does not avoid the darker aspects of life and of our history. He pulls no punches. But underneath the satire and the grotesquery there is warmth of feeling, a humane foundation that avoids any sense of exploitation. Gerard’s images speak to people from many backgrounds and cultural heritages in a highly contemporary way. He takes subjects others would not dare to approach – anxious about “good taste”, political correctness or what their peers may say and dramatises them in a way that is both astoundingly dramatic but also widely appreciated. He uses art to open ideas to a wide audience, something which itself is an act of courage when an ambitious artist might well do more to advance their career by pandering to a coterie. Bravo!! – This Series is “Victoriana Pleasure Garden”.