W. Patrick O’Brien was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After his parents gifted him with a Kodak Hawkeye camera on his 10th birthday. Patrick developed a fascination for viewing the world through the window of a camera's viewfinder. Because of the limitations of his camera and untrained eye, his captured images were not magical. However, it was his love of music that introduced him to album cover graphics, especially with the psychedelic art of that time, which changed how he viewed graphic content and attracted him to the visual arts.
Initially a Journalism major at the University of Houston, Patrick's interest in graphics was increased while attending a photojournalism class and working in an analog darkroom. He became captivated by the creative process in the darkroom. Patrick attributes the introduction and training in Ansel Adams' Zone System as the greatest impact on his concept of capturing and creating images. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Communications, with an emphasis on Audio/Video/Still production.
Since receiving his degree in 1976, Patrick gained professional experience in several graphic arts including commercial photolabs, lithography, aerial photomapping, and motion graphics. He retired after 25 years in law enforcement, specializing in audio and video forensics and multi-media training and production.
Since then, Patrick has challenged himself to create images. He credits Man Ray, Rene Magritte, Jerry Uelsmann, and Max Ernst, to name a few, as major influences. He strives to create photographic images that are much more than straight-forward documentations, but are personal and surreal interpretations, transformations and abstractions. Patrick is a member of the Williamson County Art Guild, Texas Photographic Society, Corpus Christi Art Center, and Artists of Central Texas.. His images have been shown at a multitude of solo and juried exhibits throughout all three US Coasts, and the UK.
Patrick with his Hawkeye - 1964
My Third Eye
A third eye. Defined as a spiritual concept associated with enlightenment, This figurative third eye views and interprets the physical elements of light, shapes, and colors beyond what is considered typical, mundane, or prevailing. It clarifies and removes all ambiguity to human visualizations. Our two eyes look, but our third eye sees.. It is what motivates and creates according to our hearts, whether our hearts be good or bad..
"Too often we tend to reduce what is strange to what is familiar.
I intend to restore the familiar to the strange."
-- Rene Magritte