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
WORLDART CONVERSATIONS: BETTER & BETTER BY NORMAN O'FLYNN (SOLO EXHIBITION 2017)
NORMAN O'FLYNN: BETTER & BETTER
NORMAN O'FLYNN: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE BOOM!
UNTOUCHABLE TRANSCENDERS OF TIME
Business Day May 2017
O’FLYNN WARNS OF THE LOSS OF REAL CREATIVITY
Cape Times 15 May 2017
TATTOO PORTAITS OF REALITY
Sunday Argus 1 May 2016
THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE “BOOM!”
Ashraf Jamal March 2016