MICHAEL O’BRIEN: THE FACE OF TEXAS
After traveling around the State of Texas for the past 6 years, Michael O'Brien's exhibition, The Face of Texas, has found its first art gallery venue. This important portrait show of the famous and non-famous people of Texas conveys and confirms the message that Texas is a large state with strong character, diverse culture, and great talent.
O'Brien moved to Austin, Texas from New York City after falling in love with this "Friendly" state. His first trip as a commercial photographer was photographing Willie Nelson on the movie set of Red Headed Stranger. O'Brien states, "Life in Texas was slower - more deliberate - and certainly more peaceful...The people were larger than life - friendly, informal, and generous of spirit."
The Face of Texas has traveled from the Old Jail Art Museum in Albany, Texas (the organizer of the exhibition) to many Texas venues including the Tyler Museum of Art, the Art Museum of the Southeast, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art and The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Some of the well-known Texas personalities include musicians Junior Brown, Johnny Degollado (King of Conjunto Tejano music), George Strait and ZZ Top. Author Larry McMurtry is photographed inside his book store in Archer City. And what would a Texas portrait show be without including famous politicians like George W. Bush?
Other highlights include a memorable portrait of Lady Bird Johnson sitting neatly on a sofa in her LBJ Ranch home. Texas sports legends Troy Aikman, Earl Campbell and Harvey Penick are also featured.
Michael O'Brien's photographs are in several museum collections including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; The International Center of Photography, NYC; Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. His photographs have been published in Texas Monthly, National Geographic, Life, NY Times Magazine, Esquire and the London Times Sunday Magazine among many others.
During the artist reception, Michael O'Brien will be signing copies of the exhibition catalog, The Face of Texas, published by Bright Sky Press.
Willie Nelson, Spicewood, Texas, 1989