Omagh Acrylic on canvas Eamon Reilly
I go against the grain naturally. Someone once said 'When I find myself agreeing with the majority, it's time to pause and reflect'. Those words sum me up. I find myself repeatedly, not even necessarily by choice, taking the side of the underdogs. I painted the above tribute to the victims of the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland with the 31 white doves heading heavenwards from the burning ashes of the bomb's aftermath.This is one of many anti-war paintings I have completed. Being anti-war must mean anti-terrorist also and I cannot condone any murder or killing for any cause. Gandhi and Martin Luther King are therefore two of my heroes. I feel very strongly about certain things in the world and I believe that is what drives me to paint. For instance, the atrocities of 9/11 inspired me to paint 'Celebrate New York, Your Spirit Will Never Die'. The resilience of the people of New York at this time and afterwards was quite remarkable.
Injustice makes me paint also. Last year the Irish Prime Minister/Taoiseach Brian Cowen was getting bad press during the IMF bailout and I thought this was most unfair. There was a painting that ridiculed him in a Dublin gallery and there was plenty of publicity around this especially in the national television news coverage. Challenging the status quo, it inspired me to do a portrait of him looking dignified in front of the Irish tricolour. I have also challenged the extent to which the Catholic Church in Ireland have been portrayed in the wake of the terrible child abuse cases both by the media and internet. Balancing the scales, this picture is not the church I have known and am still part of. Painting all catholics and church leaders with the same brush inspired me to respond by producing several religious portraits including that of Padre Pio and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I used an inner frame painted in the style of stain glass to pay homage to their greatness and portray them in a contemporary way.
Celebrate New York,Your Spirit Will Never Die
'Witty, thought-provoking, stylistic and vibrant, Reilly's art is contemporary in style and shows a true talent and flair for expression through the medium of paint....The works are neither traditional or abstract.... nor purely figurative...the artist gives subjects... a sort of Eamon Reilly treatment that helps them be instantly recognisable as his work'
Sinead Hogan The Anglo Celt
Eamon Reilly is a self taught artist living in the picturesque little village of Finea in County Westmeath, Ireland. His work has been described as folk, naive and more significantly as "outsider art". He has paintings in collections in Ireland,United Kingdom and United States. He has been working for the past six years in his studio which also houses a small gallery. Influenced by Van Gogh, Picasso, Munch and Chagal,he has developed an individual style which honours his title as "The Outsider".