John O'Reilly: The Nijinsky Series


John O’Reilly has been making photo-montages for over 30 years from his home in Worcester, Massachusetts. Using a Polaroid camera, he photographs scenes set up in his studio and his own body parts. He also rephotographs images from magazines, history books, and other sources. He then combines these various images into collages in which figures morph into each other amidst fragmented backgrounds.


“The Nijinsky Series” examines the genius and madness of the famous early 20th century dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. Nijinsky combined masculinity and androgyny, athleticism and effeminacy in a way that had never been seen on stage. His choreography dealt in angles and broken lines as well as broken phrases. His ability to connect with his primal, animal nature, to lose himself in the dance, and ultimately, his demise into schizophrenia, are explored in this series.