Told and Untold Stories

Stephen O’Donnell

July 22 - August 30, 2014

Winston Wächter Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Told and Untold Stories, a collection of recent works by Stephen O’Donnell. Please join us for our opening and Summer Celebration on Tuesday, July 22 from 6 – 8 pm.

Stephen O’Donnell’s curious self-portraits present the artist guised as various historicized figures, from pre-revolutionary French aristocrats to Spanish grandees and mythological heroes. Fully costumed in eighteenth-century fashions, O’Donnell poses with towering hair and period-appropriate makeup. His theatrical and imaginative images are both delightfully unexpected and amusingly irreverent.

In all of his paintings, O’Donnell employs an eighteenth-century French aesthetic, with colors and costumes that evoke portraiture of the period. He draws inspiration from the once favored portrait historié, a type of portrait in which the sitter is portrayed as a historical or mythological figure. By appropriating another persona, O’Donnell takes on the manners, moods and apparel of men and women of a bygone age. “I’ve come to realize that, really, all of them illustrate a story, whether the story is a well-known one, or a story that has yet to be actually told.”

O’Donnell’s interest in historical themes also extends to his technique and artistic style. By using thin layers of acrylic, he strives for lifelike representations that capture the sheen of satin drapery and the texture of an ostrich plume. As a self-taught artist, O’Donnell’s facility with his medium is truly impressive. His ability to record facial features, hair, and a trove of costly materials would certainly impress members of the ancien régime.

Stephen O’Donnell’s work is exhibited widely across the United States and has been featured at the Portland Art Museum and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.  For inquiries please contact Judith Rinehart at gallery@winstonwachter.com, or 206 652 5855