About the Artist
Through expressive gesture, complex layering and sharp lines, Rebecca aims to visually portray the 'art of living' along a central path: walking the balance between deliberated choices and seemingly ‘infinite’ chaotic and arbitrary events and forces. Each subject's eyes serve as windows to the soul and carry the intricate deeper messages of her work.
Who is Rebecca O'Brien?
Where it all began..
Growing up near Washington, DC, Rebecca was always a self-taught, but gifted artist. She was often recognised in local and regional competitions throughout the years. However, she chose to stay mostly private with her explorations across different media in the realms of painting and drawing.
Entering into adulthood, she committed herself to a life of travel, learning languages, studying and teaching world history and language arts. In 2013 when she began making street art under the alias of “NFN8” (pronounced: “Infinite”), she was living in Shenzhen, China, working as a middle school international teacher... striving to remain anonymous.
However, while in recovery from a serious accident in 2015, making art became her healer. The more she painted, the more she was met with surprisingly strong encouragement and affirmation. She was invited to regional art exhibitions and public festivals in China; then she began creating larger, public works in sponsored, public events throughout Asia. Due to her love for teaching, she also offered sponsored paint workshops to adults and older art students several times a year.
Rebecca spent three years as a resident artist and communications manager at Jardin Orange Artist Residency in Shenzhen, China. Before she left China, she was invited to give a TEDX Youth talk in February of 2019 to inspire others with her story of following multiple dreams at once.
Presently, Rebecca currently resides in San Diego, California, where she pursues a postgraduate certification in educational therapy, makes commissioned art works, and teaches part time at a private school.
Shows and Exhibitions
A list of exhibitions in chronological order.
Obras Artist Residency
August 15 - September 15, 2019; Evora, Portugal
Rebecca developed a new series of ink portraits during a 4-week stay at the Foundation OBRAS Residency. She was impacted by the current crisis of the burning of the Amazon Rainforest. She focused primarily on portraying 3 different tribes (Ashaninka, Yanomami and Munduruku) while highlighting their ceremonial face paint in gold as a vestige of humanity's oldest tribute to nature's beauty. She used gold and silver highlights to detail the works as well as experimented with leaving sections of negative space empty - as if cut out - just as their ancestral lands and heritage are being excised from the face of the Earth.
Recent and upcoming..
Black and White Group Exhibition
July 27-August 24, 2021
Site:Brooklyn Gallery, NYC
This quick, expressive ink portrait "The Making of the Dan (旦) was selected to join the online group exhibition in NYC for summer of 2021. This show was juried by Shana Nys Dambrot, an art critic, curator, and author based in Downtown LA. She is the Arts Editor for the L.A. Weekly Magazine.
Shoutout SoCal Interview
November 18, 2020
San Diego, CA, USA
Rebecca's artistic journey was featured in a local interview in Shoutout SoCal, which is part of the Los Angeles based Voyage Group of Magazines. Their flagship publication, VoyageLA was started in 2015. Their mission is to help change the way people spend money. They want people to spend more of their money with mom-and-pops, small businesses, independent artists and creatives by putting creatives at the center.
2019 Group Show "Urban Feel"
March 23 - April 21, 2019
Jardin Orange Artist Gallery, Group Exhibition;
Joining the international line-up with 10 other resident artists from 4 different continents, Rebecca will be showing a portion of her new "yin-yang" series. This work will work with inverted tones and the grace of bird wings.
International Watermedia Exhibition
March 6 - April 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA
Rebecca's work "Sweet Face" was selected by curator and judge Andy Evansen to be exposed in the 42nd annual competition hosted by the Watercolor Art Society of Houston. This will be her first exhibition in the United States!
TEDx Talk - The Traits of a "Life Bender"
2019 February 23
Level 5 Workshop
Shekou International School, Shenzhen, China
An independently organized event featuring students and adults giving short talks around the theme of "Invisibility". Rebecca will speak to her experience on how she became an artist - an continues to "bend" her path towards new goals and ideas. Watch her TEDx talk here: bit.ly/rebeccaobrien
"Shekou Dreams", Solo Exhibition
May 10-15, 2018
Seaworld, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
The China Merchant Group, owners of the exclusive Seaworld neighborhood of Shenzhen, have invited Rebecca to present her complete body of works (as a tribute) to the Shekou community that encouraged her humble beginnings as an artist.
Amanda Wei Gallery - Group Exhibition
March 23-26, 2018
Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong, 12th Edition
Rebecca's latest and uplifting series of dog portraits will be on display to herald the new Chinese year of the dog. Her work will be joining more than 2,500 unique works of art spread across four floors comprising more than 80 art living spaces. The works on show will include original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography from some of the world's most interesting emerging and mid-career artists, to those housed in private and public collections, and sold at auction.