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Bill O’Donnell Takes Us Inside The Mind’s Eye

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Mind's Eye
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Chicago photographer Bill O’Donnell renders everyday items as much more than their parts in a series of abstract close-ups titled ‘Mind’s Eye’.

Such tightly framed shots have become something of a trademark for O’Donnell, whose work—somewhat counterintuitively—uses details to set ambiguous and strangely emotive scenes. Drawing from his background in painting and design, O’Donnell’s photographic compositions are layered and graphic in style, and whilst simple in form they are often complex in content. ‘Mind’s Eye’ toys with ideas of perception; by combining illustrations with extreme close-ups, this series presents deliberately Delphic pictorial narratives. Through O’Donnell’s lens a basketball becomes a celestial body, and a bathrobe overlaid by a wooden stem, morphs into a ceaseless golden spiral. Indeed, if read without their titles, the true content of each photograph would remain unclear—O’Donnell has created a series where infinite interpretations of domestic reality are possible.

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All images © Bill O’Donnell