NORMAN O’FLYNN (b. 1971) lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
He has a deep understanding of and love for the pop art tradition and explores what this genre means today. He refers to topics that have become relevant in the last decade and expresses it in a visual language ranging from familiar religious and pop iconography to celebrity culture and self-love. “Just observing the glitch” he says.
In recent years, O’Flynn’s output has been dominated by the Timekeeper series, an ongoing series of larger-than-life, layered portraits on acrylic glass. The figures are for the most part covered in frenetic and portentous tattoo-like markings containing information and imagery culled from his milieu – glimpses of the news and current events, social media, conversation, fiction in print and film, music, poetry, binary code, the artist’s own imagination. A tribe of unshakable observers.
The mouths of the Timekeepers remain covered. This robs the them of their individuality and of their voice, and simultaneously sets them apart from the rest of their community that, according to the contextual body art, is hell-bent on consumption regardless of consequence. A lament of the all-pervasive contemporary cult of consumerism.
“History is governed by tides of shifting influence, one culture continually displacing another by means of subversion and assimilation.” It’s not a negative comment, he insists, but an acknowledgment of change as the reigning constant.
- 1988-1992 BA Fine Arts, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
SPECIAL HONOURS & AWARDS
- 2007 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 2006 Pro Helvetia Swiss Residency Fellowship
- 2005 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 2004 Brett Kebble Art Awards finalist
- 2004 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 2018 Timekeeper, Art Supermarket Asia, Hong Kong
- 2018 GNOMON. Worldart, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2017 Better & Better. Worldart, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2016 The good, the bad and the BOOM! Worldart, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2015 BANG BANG BOOM. Diedericks Faber. Johannesburg / Cape Town, South Africa
- 2012 Guardians. Worldart, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2010 Deep Down we all want to rob a Bank. Erdmann Contemporary. Cape Town, South Africa.
- 2009 The World Needs Me. Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2007 Never Too Late To Be A Man, Bell Roberts Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2005 The Bull and Other Stories, Bell Roberts Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2005 Currency, AVA, Association for Visual Art, Cape Town, South Africa
- 2004 Behind The Tent, Thapong, Gabarone, Botswana