Join SCAD Museum of Art assistant curator Haley Clouser in conversation with artists Rebecca Ness, Keith Mayerson, and Michael James O’Brien, as they discuss works featured in the group exhibition Likewise: Artists Portraying Artists. Speaking to the complexities of artist portraiture, the exhibiting artists emphasize the delicate balance between representing their subjects while embracing their own perspectives and creative vision. A Q&A follows the discussion.
About the artists
Rebecca Ness (b. 1992, Salem, Mass.) lives and works in Brooklyn. Ness received her B.F.A. from Boston University and her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art. Ness’ work is held in the collections of the Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.; Long Museum, Shanghai, China; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga.; Denver Art Museum, Colo.; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Ga.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Fla.; Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, Calif.; JPMorgan Chase, New York; Zuzeum Art Centre, Rīga, Latvia; and K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong, among others. Ness has exhibited recently at Morgan Presents, New York. A solo exhibition is forthcoming at Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, in early 2024.
Keith Mayerson studied semiotics and studio art at Brown University and earned an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. He currently teaches at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California. Mayerson’s work was prominently featured in The Whitney Museum of American Art’s inaugural downtown show America Is Hard to See. He has presented solo exhibitions at Karma, New York; Elaine de Kooning House Foundation, East Hampton, New York; Marlborough Gallery, New York; The Bridge, Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York; and the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. His work is held in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others.
Michael James O’Brien is a photographer, teacher, curator, poet, and activist based in Atlanta, Ga., where he is chair of photography at SCAD. O’Brien received a B.A. in English Literature from Kenyon College in 1969 and a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Yale University, where he studied with Walker Evans, in 1972. He has presented solo exhibitions in New York, Paris, Beijing, Hong Kong, Antwerp, Istanbul, Liverpool, and Savannah. His work is held in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London, the National Museum in Berlin, the High Museum in Atlanta, and the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah. O’Brien’s work has been featured in publications including Rolling Stone, British Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and Travel + Leisure. His photographs have been commissioned by Polo Ralph Lauren, Barneys New York, Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Longchamp, and Thierry Mugler, among others.
Image credit: Rebecca Ness, "Hangama," 2021–22, oil on linen. Courtesy of the SCAD Museum of Art, gift of Raul Danon.