A Showcase of Transgender Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers

Kean O'Brien

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Kean’s main interest in making art lays in community engagement. Collaboration is the way his work is made and where his work is inspired from. The ideas, practice, and documentation are all because of artistic collaborations. He do not see his work as “mine”, but rather as “ours”.

Kean graduated from CalArts with an MFA in Photography and Media in 2011. Since receiving his MFA Kean co-founded an artist run space in East Los Angeles, Concord. Concord is a trans-disciplinary collective, an artist-run gallery, an international residency program, and a home in Cypress Park, Los Angeles. As both an art project and a project space, Concord practices and provides a platform for critical models of art-making, culture-working, and community building. After his adventure with the Concord project he pursued his desire to be an educator again. Kean been teaching Photography and Digital Filmmaking for the last year at an Art Institute in the middle of Southern California desert.

His work is about community building, deconstructing or reconstructing masculinity, queerness, binary systems of oppression, and constructions of identification. He is a transgender person and in this space is exploring his personal identity and relationship to nature and the construction of space created for him/against him.

Kean’s current projects involve the curation of Trans.ientTrans.ient is a curated group show that develops ideas about sharing and recognizing visiblity in the trans community. This space was created where trans/queer work can be seen in relationship to each other instead of reconstructing a familiar space; in opposition to the Other. Bringing awareness to predicated perceptins of our lives with culture and historical relevance. The Uhaul trucks, which the work is being presented in lends to the idea of transition, being an ever flowing and changing space — the temporary space of movement and dialogue around trans visibility. I want to drive discourse that extends beyond the object and into the public sphere, which, I believe, creates true visibility. The next Trans.ient exhibition is being generously funded by The City of West Hollywood in November 2014 in conjunction with Transgender Day of Remembrance and Trans Day of Action.

Also, Kean is working on an ongoing project, Conversations with Trans.audacity, which is a body of work that deals with his desire of the creation of community. The desire to learn from other artists, on how they are creating an artistic practice and functioning in their studios. He hope to bridge these spaces of dialogue as a means to create inspiring conversations.


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