Inside the Mind/Art of Senan O’Connor

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Senan O’Connor did not descend from the cosmos to planet Earth to be anything other than his genuine self; that being a man who sits beside his artwork on the sidewalk in New Orleans with a beer in his hand and a ballpoint pen in the other. Most all of the work that he sells was originally rendered with that pen on a cocktail napkin or other scrap of paper. He doesn’t have much, but the sales of his artwork are enough to provide him with food and drink and cigarettes and enough to cover the rent on the room he sleeps in. It is clear that the artwork and this modest yet joyful existence are inextricably intertwined.

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If the images in his line drawings seem to reflect an unsettling yet appealing subculture that is both romantic and perverse it is merely a projection of his lifestyle. The subject matter featuring alcohol, amputees, cigarettes, mythical creatures, uncovered genitalia, loss, sadness, etc. is his view of life and also the  world he lives in. This is life. It’s a party. And everyone is invited as long as you’re not afraid to really live it.

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We first discovered Senan O’Connor, a native Rhode Islander, when he came in off the street to see if we’d like to buy some art (he sells his prints for 2 bucks). We obviously bought a shit load. Since then, he’s taken up residence in Louisiana, but his wayward path has brought him from a summer of cranberry picking in Cape Cod to street art sales in Germany for several months. Once or twice every year he comes back through Providence and we load up on his work before he takes off to the great unknown again.

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We are constantly in awe of those around us who are fearless enough to lead a life that bucks convention. Senan’s wayward path often seems to be far better guided than he will ever know. In addition to being the gentlest soul, he leaves us with art from his fantastical world and serves to act as our correspondent from the other side. For those of us who inhabit planet Earth as we know it, we can receive his transmissions and take comfort that the interplanetary circus is still raging and shows no signs of abatement.


Senan O’Connor’s prints are available at Frog & Toad for $2 each. Sometimes we have originals too.

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