ABXY invites you to the opening of an exhibition by emerging artist Vernon O’Meally. The show, entitled “This Way To That Way” marks O’Meally’s third solo exhibition. It will be co-curated by the artist and ABXY founder, Allison Barker. Barker discovered O’Meally in 2014 and has been working closely with the artist ever since. Since 2016, the artist has been making plans for his much anticipated audio-visual installation, which he will reveal opening night. His work has been been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Whitewall Magazine, Arte Fuse, Street Art NYC, Bowery Boogie and many, many more. Notable collectors include: Paige Reifler (model), Jack Giarraputo (producer), and John Barker (Neuberger Berman).
Vernon O’Meally (b. Atlanta, Georgia) is a New York based visual artist creating paintings sculptures and installations, which visualize the invisible forces that stimulate our senses and animate our lives. Working across a diverse array of media, the artist interprets intangible powers like music, energy, and emotion into electrifying visual abstractions, often taking shape in orchestral linear compositions and psychedelic fields of color. Using this unique artistic language, O’Meally is able to vividly describe both his sensory experience of the world around us and the profound sense of wonder it produces.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2010, where he studied architecture and graphic design, O’Meally migrated to New York to pursue a career as a visual artist. While exploring this great metropolis in search of empty walls and creative work, he became inspired by the city’s dynamic pace and soon developed his signature, “linescapes.” O’Meally’s structured linear configurations celebrate the mystical interconnectivity of urban life. They symbolize the disintegration of earlier terms of classification and the weaving of a new shape shifting social fabric based on imagination, diversity, and spontaneity.
Fascinated by the evocative power of song, since 2015, the artist has been building a body of work, which investigates his emotional and visual responses to music. In the tradition of action painters like Jackson Pollack, O’Meally’s creation ritual is both meditative and physical. After selecting a soundtrack and preparing his painting materials (often on the gallery floor) the artist begins to move around a blank canvas like a shark circling its prey. He then executes a multi-stage plan of attack: whether he’s pouring and spraying paint, making marks with charcoal or washing his canvasses with water, O’Meally’s full body gestures translate sonic landscapes into visual ones. In his work, acoustic elements like tempo, pitch, rhythm, and timbre emerge as vacillating galaxies of pure line and color. In this way, the paintbrush becomes a music instrument, and the resulting work evidence of a stirring audio visual event.
The works presented in this exhibition were produced in a kind of synesthetic trance, one, at times, enhanced by the hallucinatory powers of drugs like LSD. A devoted student of modern neuroscience, the artist is well versed in the latest research on psychedelics and their effects on human consciousness. In response to musical stimuli, these drugs have been proven to activate the portion of the brain responsible for mental imagery, memory, and meaning. The resulting sensations of wonder and increased experiential significance are now studied in the scientific community for their therapeutic potential. In a similar pursuit, when O’Meally works under the influence, he does not simply depict the visions occurring in his mind’s eye; rather, he seeks to create work capable of communicating the mystical relationship between music, image, emotion, and consciousness; the divine sense of meaning we derive from all art forms, which appears perceptible in this altered state.