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RISE

Artist Adam O’Day sees Boston in a different light

Age: 32

Hometown: Born in Tennessee, moved eight times, settled in Southie at the Distillery with wife Meghan.

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Think of: A modern mix of Expressionism and Impressionism, sometimes with a street-art twist. “I just try to paint exactly how I want to and how I feel like I need to. That way, whatever I paint is going to be my hands.”

What caught our eye: A vibrant, vivid, imaginative take on the city of Boston.

Light bulb moment: Before making a go of being a professional artist, O’Day was an engineer and designer for the Navy. He graduated from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley. “Somewhere between getting out of college in 2005 and now, I just said ‘I’m just going to try to make a go of it as a professional artist.’ . . . I guess it was about a year and a half ago that I made that decision.”

Biggest thrill: “Earlier this year I did a show where I collaborated with 15 other artists and it was a complete experiment, but it was far more successful in the response from the public than any other show I’ve ever had. It was at Voltage in Kendall Square. It was the most exciting thing too because I didn’t have control over the whole thing. It could have gone either way, but people loved it, I loved it. It was just one of those times where something finally worked.”

Inspired by: “First, I would say my friends and peers. The people that I work with and the people that I went to school with and the people that I make art with, they’re my biggest inspiration . . . you’re just getting better every time you get together.” O’Day also notes “any of the artists where you can see a heavy hand,” like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ralph Steadman, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Aspires to: “I’ve never had a show overseas, so that’s my next step. My next main goal in life is to find a place for my wife and my child-to-be to live. We’re having a daughter in July.”

For good luck: Listening to heavy metal music. O’Day is also a drummer/singer in a two-man heavy metal band, Mollusk.

What people should know: O’Day paints more than just landscapes. “People probably wouldn’t know unless they came to my studio that I do mostly non-landscapes. All the work that I make for myself is quite a bit different.”

Coming soon: O’Day will open a solo show titled “Dissolving Structures: New Work by Adam O’Day” at Cassandra Complex Gallery in Provincetown in June. www.thecassandracomplexgallery.com

Emily Wright can be reached at emily.wright@boston.com. Follow her on Twitter @MissEmilyWright.
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