Artist: Connor O’Brien
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist
Connor O’Brien is a senior at California State University, Long Beach working towards his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in the School of Art’s Photography program. He currently lives in Los Alamitos, just a few minutes away from campus. As a kid, he was always fascinated by how cameras work and liked to capture the moment.
When you first walk in the room, the first thing you notice is the big projected video on the white walls. The lights are dimmed which focuses on the video about a young man helping and older man with his everyday necessities, such as changing clothes and being fed. Throughout the video, an instrumental music was playing in the background, which sets a serious yet heart warming mood to it. The video was captured in many different angles and get different perspectives on what was actually happening. The small details in the video made it easy to connect to it.
O’Brien’s exhibit, Mentia, is about him taking care of his father who is suffering from dementia. His video showcases how much his father’s illness has had a big impact on his everyday life. He said that when he’s not focusing on art, he’s taking care of his father’s day to day needs. He also stated that it’s been six years since his father was diagnosed but his father showed symptoms of dementia for fifteen years. His mother, brother and himself take turns taking care of his father. O’Brien hopes that this exhibition would bring awareness to dementia.
Connor’s exhibit caught my attention right when I walked in. After watching only a few clips from the video, I instantly felt very inspired and in awe. It definitely shows the connection that O’Brien has with his father. It also shows his hard-working and loving personality towards his father. It makes me think of how hard it is to be in his shoes. I don’t think I would be able to handle all the emotional stress that comes with it. This video taught me not to take anything for granted and to always appreciate the people around you.