My work as an artist, designer, and publisher consists of two interrelated parts. Until 2016, my practice concentrated on sculpture, photography, and installations exhibited in galleries and public institutions; this included my participation in the Hammer Museum’s 2014 Made in L.A. and MoMA PS1’s 2010 Greater New York. In 2016, Deirdre O’Dwyer and I co-founded Rakish Light, an experimental press that produces print projects and collaborations among artists, writers, and thinkers. Rakish Light has expanded my artistic life, allowing me to work closely with my partner and other artists while sharing hands-on processes with students and the larger community.
This page documents my collaborative practice as part of Rakish Light. For more in-depth discussions of projects and research please follow the projects and research tabs under the “Art” menu above.
RAKISH LIGHT 6
OO Guide to Sobriety, 2019
To collaborate as a couple, Rakish Light (Deirdre O’Dwyer and Brian O’Connell) built a box camera with two lenses, of different focal lengths. We traveled to 12 locations in the American West to capture landscapes on lithographic film (Yosemite; Joshua Tree; the Grand Canyon; MacArthur Park, Los Angeles; Sequoia/Kings Canyon; San Joaquin Valley; Zuma Beach; Death Valley; Mono Lake; Mammoth Lakes; the Bristlecone Forrest; the Vagabond Inn, Ventura). The negatives were used to make offset plates, from which we printed the artist’s book the OO Guide to Sobriety. Each page is a unique of multi-layered print showing two side-by-side views.
Unique hand-bound book with wood covers and color offset lithographic interior sheets, 10 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.
RAKISH LIGHT 5
A Letter to My Father and My Unborn Son, 2018
by Aram Saroyan and Gailyn Saroyan
What did the generation that came of age during the sixties do for an encore? Many of the answers seemed to have slipped below the media’s plumb line. A Letter to My Father and My Unborn Son, a journal by Aram Saroyan with art by Gailyn Saroyan, takes us to the American bicentennial year, 1976, as the young poet and artist await the arrival of their third child in Bolinas, a small coastal village in rural Northern California. Here is the day-to-day journey of a young family—at once intimate, surprising, and funny.
Offset lithographs (10-color cover; b/w interior), 92 pages, 5 x 8 inches, hand-bound.
RAKISH LIGHT 4
by J. Parker Valentine
Vacation is a graphic mystery involving a man, a woman, monkeys, fish, three colors, kisses, and—somewhere in the middle—an unfortunate end.
3-color offset lithographs, 5 folded sheets, 20 pages, 8.25 x 11 inches.
RAKISH LIGHT 3
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, 1884,
by Edwin Abbot Abbott, 2017 edition
Edwin Abbot Abbott’s novella Flatland is: the timeless memoir of a sentient being; and, a proto-sci-fi critique of Victorian society that conceived of a fourth dimension in advance of the theory of relativity. The Rakish Light edition reproduces every page in the book on the cover.
Multicolor offset lithographs, 62 French-folded sheets bound in softcover, 5 x 7 1/2 inches.
RAKISH LIGHT 2
Real Print, 2016
by fifty-two artists
On January 4, 2016, in advance of the US Presidential inauguration, Rakish Light contacted artist friends by email to initiate a poster project: “We would like to ask you to participate in a last-minute collaborative project to express the combination of urgency, anxiety, and ultimately hope for renewed commitment born of the present moment.” We began printing their responses a week later and provided the contributors with a stack of copies to distribute to their communities. On the back of each poster we printed: “Not for sale.”
Offset lithographs, 9 x 12 inches.
RAKISH LIGHT 1
Watchers and Winks, 2016
with Annie Lapin
In conjunction with the exhibition Annie Lapin: Watchers and Winks at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles
(November 5–December 16, 2016), Rakish Light produced an edition riffing on a single painting by the artist.
Each portfolio contains 79 unique double-sided prints loosely bound in linen, wood, and rubber band. Offset lithographs, 9 x 12 inches
RAKISH LIGHT JOURNAL AND OTHER PROJECTS
Rakish Light Journal is a series of unique abstract journal-size books made by over-printing and binding the remaining make-ready sheets from the first year of the press. They roughly document the sequence of that year’s production.
Click here to view all 100 unique volumes
Make Readies , 2017
with Xtra Magazine