What happens when you marry gorgeous art and ingenious storytelling? The Untold Gaze by Stephen O'Donnell would be my guess. Thirty-three Pacific Northwest authors write stories, poems, and flash fiction inspired by one painting, meticulously done, by fine artist O'Donnell. They tell the story underneath the story told in the painting, and they run the gamut from hilarious, to poignant, to heartbreaking, to chilling, and along the way, they affirm the nature of the human race. Wonderfully creative and seriously addictive, these stories and their respective paintings will both charm and delight you, as well as transport you to a mysterious world that lives on the underside of art. Another anthology as unique as this one simply does not exist; bask in the brilliance found here. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
About the Author
Stephen O’Donnell is a mid-career fine artist. His work is widely collected, both in this country and abroad. Entirely self-taught, he is best known for his self-portraits, paintings which typically employ a great deal of gender ambiguity and a strong dose of droll humor. His work usually exemplifies the genre known as the portrait historié, or historicized portrait, in which a recognizable subject is portrayed in period costume or mythological guise, all to dramatic or comic effect. His work – both literary and visual – has appeared in the literary magazines/journals Nailed, Menacing Hedge, and Gertrude. He is married to writer and graphic designer Gigi Little. They live in Portland, Oregon with their dog Nicholas.
Stephen Arndt, Liz Asch, Jude Brewer, Matty Byloos, Doug Chase, David Ciminello, Sean Davis, Monica Drake, Colin Farstad, Dian Greenwood, Sara Guest, Robert Hill, Lisa Kaser, Megan Kruse, Kathleen Lane, Margaret Malone, Kevin Meyer, Karen Munro, Whitney Otto, Michael Sage Ricci, Bradley K. Rosen, Sam Roxas-Chua, Stephen Rutledge, Edie Rylander, Liz Scott, Evelyn Sharenov, Tom Spanbauer, Scott Sparling, Laura Stanfill, Adam Strong, Vanessa Veselka, Suzy Vitello, Lidia Yuknavitch.