Title and Boston skyline graphic
Seeking God: The Religious Paintings of William (W.O’K) O’Keefe by James R. Holland
Seeking God Cover
$15.95 US
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William O’Keefe is a Boston-Cambridge Artist who is on a quest to understand God. He believes that knowledge of the great hereafter comes to him in his dreams, nightmares and night terrors. He also believes that other beings reach out across space and time to contact him as well. He attempts to capture these glimpses of other worlds and other dimensions via his paintings.

Those people who have seen him on Comcast’s “Chronicle” or cable television’s “A&E” know that the colorful, somewhat eccentric artist, unlike many artists, is also more than willing to discuss his beliefs and paintings. Using sweeping hand and arm jesters combined with his deep melodic voice that sounds exactly like legendary actor Willem Dafoe, Billy will explain his explorations into the world of spirits for as along as he has an audience. His arguments are accompanied by intense passion combined with the oratorical skills of a politician or snake oil salesman trying to sway a skeptical mob. While he doesn’t claim to paint religious art, many of his paintings obviously show his interest in religious themes. He is definitely on some kind of a quest for answers to eternal questions such as “Where Do We Come From? What are We? Where Are We Going?” That subject was also the theme of Paul Gauguin’s greatest masterpiece when he too was on a search for understanding.

Many viewers of W.O’K’s religious paintings will find them anything but religious. They might better describe the young painter’s work as blasphemy, sacrilegious, heresy or worse—like insanity. His best artwork provokes strong reactions either pro or con. One of these paintings that W.O’K was displaying for the first time so enraged a passerby that he kicked it and would have destroyed the offending crucifixion scene had not the artist and his friends saved the painting from the enraged and unwelcome art critic.

Still other viewers might describe W.O’K’s work as pure pornography, although that charge would be totally without merit because there is nothing sexual in his art other than most of the subjects are nude. So strong is the Puritan influence in New England, that many people confuse nudity with pornography when they are entirely different. Billy, as his friends call him, is a free thinker and the poster-boy for a free spirit. He is always thinking out of the box or in his case, out of the frame. One of his theories is that “heaven” exists throughout the universe within dark matter, which occupies the vast space between the smaller universe of normal matter that humans occupy and can observe. Some of his art attempts to illustrate that theory, but so far he hasn’t been able to illustrate his theory in a universally understandable art form.

His quest is not completed and he will continue it. He’s a very serious artist exploring humanity’s most serious questions. While he won’t admit it, at this time in his search to see God, it appears that W.O’K believes that God is female rather than the more traditional religious concept that it was man that was made in the image and likeness of the creator and Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs. W.O’K thinks it was the other way round and that it was Eve that came first and was created in the image of the Almighty.

This paperback edition of the original E-book version contains beautiful, full-color reproductions of 34 of W.O'K's religious, semi-religious, or vaguely religious, thought-provoking, out-of-this-universe paintings. The book also contains color photographs of the painter with some of his work as well as biographical information about the young artist and his beliefs.

Come, take a journey to an alternate dimension that the artist believes is hidden in the vast reaches of the universe's dark matter.

An Inexpensive E-book version of this paperback edition is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most of the other Digital Book Sellers.


photo of W.O'Keefe at tableArtist's Profile:

William Francis O'Keefe, who paints under the signature "W.O'K" was born in Boston on October 6, 1962. You may recognize him or his work from appearances on the television shows "A&E" or "Chronicle". The Boston artist can sometimes be found selling his work along the sidewalks of Newbury Street. He has been painting his weird, wacky, wild and wonderful visions of strange worlds peopled by equally fantastic aliens since 1989. He believes his dream-like visions are the spirits of beings from the past and the future reaching out across space and time to appear in his Neo-Surrealistic art. W.O'K, and his erotic artwork are a fascinating part of the vibrant, colorful Boston art scene.

fisheye photo of JR HollandAuthor's Profile:

James R. Holland is a Boston Photo-Diarist. A former photographer intern and later contract photographer for National Geographic, Mr. Holland has published photographs and articles in major magazines, textbooks, encyclopedias and video games. His work has been included in many traveling photographic exhibitions. He is also a former film and video producer for the Christian Science Center in Boston. His film work has appeared on most major networks and many cable channels. He is the author-photographer of several books including The Amazon, Mr. Pops (about Arthur Fiedler) and Tanglewood as well as Diamonds Are Waiting For You and a memoir, Adventure Photographer. He is an avid amateur art and photography collector.

All material © James R. Holland, A Bit of Boston Books