Ken O’Neill was born in Waterford Ireland in 1967, he had his first exhibition in 1990 in a Waterford Gallery, which attracted local interest, he now exhibits in Waterford, Cork, Dublin, London and the United States.
Ken’s style of painting has the ability to capture a particular mood as you can see from his works and he has derived special satisfaction from figurative work. A mood of menace, speed and atmosphere pervades the work of Ken, the leitmotiv of his wise guys paintings is the simplicity of a tie blowing in the wind.
The visual expression and consciousness of colour takes the dark element out of the mind’s eye and almost relaxes the voyeur into believing that these images are light but don’t be fooled they are not. Ken’s work is made into series each series tells its own story the idea for these stories come on a constant basis. His ideas come fast so accompanying each title is a thumbnail sketch. He generally has 10 thoughts in each series. His ideas are prolific so if he is not painting he is writing, Ken enjoys writing short stories about each painting ; you have to stay ahead of the game. He likes to firmly place adventure in his paintings and likes to invite you in.
There has been one major influence in his life and that is the work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, he first viewed the taking of Christ in the National Gallery of Ireland when it was first exhibited many years ago. Some of Ken’s work hangs in permanent collections, such as his painting of the Customs House in Dublin, which hangs in their Gandon Museum; also the Office of Public Works purchased a painting to hang in their new Government Buildings in Waterford.
Ken’s paintings are extremely sought after and are collected privately throughout the world.