Razzle Dazzle by Dan O’Neill (2015)

The Avenue Concept x RIHPHC Public Art Tour

Razzle Dazzle by Dan O’Neill (2015)

Providence, Rhode Island 02906, United States

Created By: The Avenue Concept


Building name: Classical High School

Architect: Harkness & Geddes

Date built: 1970

An artist’s inspiration for mural work takes into account the surface upon which the work is created, the context in which the work is sited, and the view of the artwork from the human-scale perspective. In special environments, the artist also considers the way in which the community engages with the work itself, planning spaces for delight and engagement where possible.

Dan O’Neill’s mural Razzle Dazzle hits all of those considerations. Installed in a thruway between the buildings on the Classical and Central Highschool campus, O’Neill enlivened an otherwise nondescript corner and made it a physical space. Color, form, spaces to move and engage all collide to create an anchoring spot and gathering place for students, faculty and visitors to campus.

About the Artwork:

Razzle Dazzle by Dan O’Neill (2015)

The lines, shapes, and shadows of Razzle Dazzle follow the rhythm of the school day. Similarly, the mural's color palette reflects a conscious choice to portray how sunlight and shadow affect color throughout the day. Inspired by the geometric "razzle dazzle" technique used to camouflage WWI battleships, O'Neill also used bright colors, light, and shadow to seemingly alter the shape of the building and ultimately impact the students' perspective of the space. O'Neill explains, "It's not a figurative mural with a specific political or social message, but a feeling that the space is here for you. To show students how this kind of brutalist, monochromatic concrete courtyard is really a canvas that's waiting for all this artwork to happen on it... That's what i wanted to get across with the act of painting it."

Material: C2 Paint, Montana Gold Spray Paint

Artist website: www.dan-oneill.com

Special thanks to: Classical High School, Central High School

This point of interest is part of the tour: The Avenue Concept x RIHPHC Public Art Tour


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