Stephen O'Donnell

The Untold Gaze
Stephen O'Donnell, 2018

$55 + postage

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Portland fine artist Stephen O'Donnell's paintings are always narrative — touching on themes of gender, history, beauty, and longing — but the stories he paints lie just beyond the frame, through an open doorway, within an obscure look or gesture. The thirty-three authors in The Untold Gaze each chose one of his paintings to use as a prompt for a piece of original fiction. With a diverse lineup that includes Tom Spanbauer, Lidia Yuknavitch, Monica Drake, Scott Sparling, and Margaret Malone, with an introductory essay written by Bob Hicks, longtime arts writer and editor for The Oregonian, and with subjects ranging from amorous satyrs to beauty pageant queens to post-apocalyptic alien overlords, The Untold Gaze is a large format collection of O'Donnell's work — more than eighty paintings — which also explores the rich, nuanced, and often quite unexpected terrain that lies between visual art and the written story.