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© Andrew O’Brien

Shades of Gray

Artist: Andrew O’Brien

Project: Stringer’s Ridge

Description In an ongoing series of startling black and white images, Andrew O’Brien captures landscapes along Stringer’s Ridge, a nature preserve near Chattanooga, Tennessee, and annotates them by overlaying dots, slashes, and abstract shapes to create otherworldly scenes. The markings on the images resemble spray paint, evoking notations by a land surveyor while, as O’Brien puts it, dismantling “optical perception.”

By manipulating shadow and light, perspective, and depth of field, O’Brien modifies not only what viewers see, but also how they perceive what’s in front of them. The liminal world O’Brien constructs, melding realistic scenes with pixelated additions, allows for “the possibility of a new space—one that moves between surface and depth, or the recognizable and the undifferentiated.”


Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Andrew O'Brien

Andrew O’Brien’s photographic and installation-based practice draws from lived experience to examine the organization and perception of physical space. His work is informed by the history and symbolic potential of materials, as well as the mutability of the photographic image. View more of his work at