The RHA are delighted to announce Oscar Fouz Lopez as the recipient of the Tony O’Malley Residency 2018 / 2019. The Tony O’Malley Residency is awarded on an annual basis to an artist who wishes to work primarily in the medium of paint. During his lifetime Tony O’Malley was the recipient of subsidised studios and accommodation in St. Ives, Cornwall. Administered by the Arts Council of Great Britain it offered the artist time to concentrate on creating work. Jane O’Malley has never forgotten the privilege of those decades for herself and Tony and in association with the Royal Hibernian Academy she now wishes to offer this home/studio in Callan to artists on an annual basis.
Oscar Fouz Lopez (1979) is a Spanish born artist that lives and works in Dublin.
Lopez has had his work featured in group exhibitions such as Winter Open (2016) in Rua Red, Dublin, Insider Art (2016) in MCE, Belfast, and participated in the 187th and 188th Annual Show at the Royal Hibernian Academy. His solo show Pickled Chimp Ears was held at Pallas Projects as part of its 2018 program. He graduated with a BA in Fine Art from D.I.T. in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Most Promising Graduate Award at the Talbot Gallery the same year. Lopez also holds an MFA in Painting from NCAD (2016). His work is held in both public and private collections including the Office of Public Works and the Trinity College Art Collection.
Lopez’s work is influenced by mythological stories which provide him with a combination of real historical facts, metaphors and philosophical teachings to draw from. According to Carl Jung, myths are embedded in the human psyche in the form of archetypes. Lopez’s paintings focus on the Hero archetype that endures personal challenges, which acts as a metaphor for self improvement.
Lopez tries to understand these kinds of writings within a contemporary frame, and questions to what extent they are still meaningful in the 21st Century. His paintings explore personalities and interactions between characters. Lopez understands that real connection between people could be seen as one of the challenges facing today’s Hero archetype; a figure who can exist in various shapes and colours. The compositions are infused with uneasiness and anticipation, and at times it seems that something crucial is just about to happen. In these awkward and humorous scenarios, the characters also seem to find it difficult to make connections among themselves. Lopez’s characters play out the Hero archetype in a world that is a reflection of our own culture.