Ronan O'Reilly (b. 1993) is a visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland.
Ronan O’Reilly’s paintings are primarily concerned with the evolution of human thought and consciousness. In particular, his work investigates spiritual experiences from an atheistic position. With this as a point of research, his work is informed by a broad range of subjects including religious, philosophical and contemplative practices, scientific discoveries, culture and civilization, and psychology. Personal, national and cultural identities are contemplated alongside the examination of reality and illusion in the human psyche. Irish colonialism, Celtic and Christian mythology, Zen practice, masculinity, and heavy metal sub-culture are recurring topics of examination.
His work aims to address and explore the relationship between the conscious ‘ego,’ unconscious drives, and altered states of consciousness pursued by spiritual practitioners. The work-process attempts to allow the unconscious to have a certain degree of influence on the final image. A variety of methods are employed; accident or chance marks, attempting to work instinctively, or consciously painting images based on impulsive sketches, hallucinations or dream images.
Mythology and fantasy from various past and present world cultures play a large role in the work. In attempting to allow the unconscious to influence the image-making process, the work inevitably references images and symbols used throughout our long history of cultural practice and myth-making. Archetypal images and symbols from world cultures are acknowledged, interpreted and re-interpreted in order to explore our perception of symbols and imagery.