Influenced by 1980’s pop imagery, super realism, and sci-fi and fantasy art, Johannah O’Donnell’s paintings focus primarily on human and animal subjects. Her paintings use natural and figurative symbolism to comment on our connection with the universe and our shifting cultural perceptions in the digital age. In some of her most recent work, O’Donnell has looked at the fragility of life by creating juxtaposing portraits of deceased celebrities with studies of endangered animals. By elevating these animals to celebrity status, she comments on the nature of national mourning, while also drawing attention to the vulnerability of our environment.
“Doing scenic art teaches you adaptability for sure. I wasn’t trained as a painter, so I had a fairly steep learning curve when I started out. Luckily, I worked with some very talented and generous artists, and they showed me the ropes. Honestly, I don’t think any one project shaped my style; ALL of the projects shaped it. I did a lot of very clean, graphic work, and a lot of painterly work as well. I like to incorporate both of these styles into my personal work. On a side note, the other scenic artists I worked with over the years definitely influenced my style as well.” – Johannah O’Donnell (Dirge Magazine)