TIM O'KANE


River Inn

RIVER INN SUITE

This suite of paintings and drawings represents a long anticipated body of work I have taken up during the last three years. I’ve titled the series RIVER INN, which hints at the actual proximity of the hotel rooms to a body of water, rarely seen in the paintings but still very much present in my mind and imagination, and for that reason in the feel of each interior – one of the main characters none-the-less.

These hotel rooms, mostly with figures that move or stop momentarily within the atmosphere that shadows and light create during different times of day or night, are for me the stage sets for what I set up as cinematic-like narratives.

Hotels and motels, sometimes very far away, play some part in most of our lives. I’m drawn to how oddly intimate the settings can feel without being ours, our homes, especially when we are usually there for such a short time. And how liberating, releasing us for a time from all the issues our own environments remind us of. And visually, there are so many elements of surprise, the visual dynamic of how these interiors are set up, where the windows are and what views await us, and occasionally the added unexpected element of a big mirror feeding back a reversed view, like a large, masterful, realist painting of that very setting, giving the presence of a person a double representation.

Moving through an unfamiliar hotel room naked, or sitting in a hotel chair naked at the end of the day with a drink in your hand is entirely different than doing the same thing at home. With a more acute awareness of being naked comes, I feel, an added erotic quality, not overt but subtle. That underlying eroticism is a critical aspect of the work’s quiet drama.

Through my River Inn Series I am revisiting the three elements in the most important work I’ve done over the years – the figure and interiors with the composition designed to bind them together.