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Inside Norman O’Flynn’s ‘Interior of Perfection’

By Kgalalelo Gaitate

Through a deep-dive into the dreamy world of visual artist Norman O’Flynn’s Interior of Perfection, Kgalalelo Gaitate reflects on life under lockdown, and the absurdity of the world we live in.

Norman O’Flynn is a Cape Town-based sculptor and painter. WORLDART, O’Flynn’s gallery, was the first South African gallery to sell an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) artwork of his. O’Flynn works primarily in acrylic paint on glass although he is a multidisciplinary artist. His work explores what pop art means today.

The artwork I have chosen to review is a large-scale artwork by O’Flynn, at 95 x 80cm in size. Titled Interior of Perfection, the artwork is about the absurdity of the world we live in.

This artwork caught my attention not only because of O’Flynn’s vibrant use of colour, but because of the monochrome swoosh in the background that appears to be ocean waves engulfing a glass-walled house. This piece is most relatable and relevant as it was created during South Africa’s 2020 lockdown, during a time when many experienced feelings of extreme loneliness or a heightened sense of self-awareness.

What also interests me about this artwork is that one has to look closely to see its fine details, like the man reading the news on the television screen or the face of the puppy sculpture. O’Flynn has also incorporated modern furniture and antique pieces like the Victorian table with gold carvings.

To respond to this artwork, I’ve created a video of the artwork with a voice recording laid over it. The recording is spoken word. The background music gathers momentum as feelings of dismay heighten. I’ve chosen to respond this way because hearing pictures, and seeing sounds is an exciting sensory journey and these are the feelings this painting invokes in me.

Norman O Flynn Interior of Perfection
Kgalalelo Gaitate

Kgalalelo Gaitate is a full-time visual arts practitioner who has taken part in various group exhibitions. Her art is an exploration and celebration of South Africa’s various sub-cultures. Gaitate has illustrated children’s books and calendar cover art, as well as created art for marketing campaigns for Genesis Analytics and vector art for Royal Haskoning DHV.

This review was published as part of the Creative Feel My Art Radar project which was made possible by the National Arts Council’s PESP programme.

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