Language of Love

by Suzanne Walters Gray MFA ’04

O'Connor Art

The first panel of “Love Letters (Diptych)” by John O’Connor (visual arts) is a hybrid spam message; the second is based on a historical love letter from Napoleon to Josephine. Spam writing is intriguing because it seems personal but is not, O’Connor says: “It’s not a type of lan-guage that expresses some feeling of the person writing it, but is meant to compel the receiver to respond.”

The paintings were part of The Machine and the Ghost, O’Connor’s solo show at the Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn in November. The panels were used as the covers for a catalog of O’Connor’s work over the last decade, which was published in conjunction with the show and featured essays by Rick Moody and Robert Storr.