It is hard not to fall into the temptation of randomly capturing an image in the visual work of David OReilly and from it, subjected to its evocative force, to try to find the key that explains the world of this artist born in Kilkenny, Ireland. That image would surely correspond to an impossible epiphany knitted with renders’ skeletons, synthetic voices and washed-down colours. Or with a strangely sophisticated animation that will take the old Microsoft’s Paintbrush as a working tool. Or with astonishing landscapes generated with a certain amount of geometrical perspectives, flat shaded illumination and polygons. In any case, we are always talking about a coherent and unique universe that achieves to extract a strangely revealing poem from such a simple act (and taboo in a world invaded by the obscene hyperrealism of 3D) as showing the seams and “flaws” of the animation process.
In CHILDHOOD an enthusiastic child goes down a slide that would seem to be suspended in the cosmos. When he arrives to the end of it, a force seems to newly attract the kid to the highest point of the slide, going down again, and being sucked back to the highest spot once more, the expressions of joy turn into horror screams as the ups and downs become faster and faster; finally the only thing we see is a blot desperately screaming in the middle of an undefined space. How could we avoid tracing a line between this character and the suicidal children in CHILDRENS SONG, the young and beaten piano student of THE EXTERNAL WORLD, the octocat that furiously walks around grieving the absence of his parents in OCTOCAT ADVENTURES, or the fox that drags his slaughtered mother’s corpse across the snow in “WOFL2106”? Pain and helplessness seem to be a constant in OReilly’s works, and he approaches it with a perspective that mixes dark humour with a gesture of humanism and compassion in the face of a ferocious world.
OReilly’s jump to an unmanageable industry as it is the videogames one with his controversial MOUNTAIN in 2014 (followed by EVERYTHING in 2017) and his subsequent incursion in the immersive animation field through his piece EYE OF THE DREAM, do not only talk about a creator who is always seeking to expand the expressive possibilities of animation and to question the viewer’s role, but also about the incorruptible coherence in a formal level and a world’s vision that even if it is stated in a different manner it keeps up; quoting the voice-over of British philosopher Alan Watts, which can be heard throughout “Everything”: “now could it possibly be therefore that we with all our problems conflict neuroses sicknesses political outrages, Wars, tortures and everything that goes on in human life are a state of conflict which can be seen in the larger perspective as a as a situation of harmony?”