Though he went 27 years without picking up a paintbrush or sitting down to a blank canvas, artist Chris O’Hara has always felt the presence of art in his life. His mum, Ann O’Hara, was an artist herself and a prominent art teacher, and so Chris grew up surrounded by various artistic projects; it was in his blood from day one, always there simmering below the surface. However, rather than continue in his mother’s footsteps when his clear talent was there for all to see, Chris chose the entrepreneurial route, which he now describes as a ‘rollercoaster ride’ with dizzying heights and unbearable lows. After spending several decades working on various entrepreneurial endeavours in the hospitality and food business, Chris realised that despite financial success, he was experiencing, for the most part, a combination of misery, conflict, ill health, stress and depression. Though it may, at times, have looked like a very successful life on paper, O’Hara’s own measure of success was coming from within, where things were far from rosy.
Now the Irish Abstract Artist, has been given the seal of approval by The British Royal Family as one of his commissioned artworks now takes pride of place in the home of Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, and her husband, English International Rugby Player Mike Tindall, situated in Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire. Zara won the opportunity to house an original Chris O’Hara at auction, after being initially out bid for another painting Chris had gifted, in December 2019 at The Emeralds & Ivy Ball, hosted by Ronan Keating, which celebrates the partnership between Cancer Research UK and the Marie Keating Foundation, raising funds for the Cancer Awareness Roadshow Units.
Zara commissioned Chris to create a piece to suit her home and one that also included her daughter’s names, Lena and Mia. Chris created the 150 x 150cm piece, Titled “Funfair” over the course of 3 months and delivered it to Zara’s home in a floating frame. When speaking about her new piece, Zara Philips is quoted saying, “Thank you so much! I absolutely love it, it’s perfect! You’re a genius!”. Speaking about creating a commissioned piece for Zara, Chris said “It was a honour & pleasure to paint for Zara. She was genuinely excited about it, as much as I was! The visit and hanging of the painting was so relaxed and informal. A lovely person inside and out! “ Chris O’Hara’s paintings have gained a number of well-known fans over the last few years including; Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews, Presenters Glenda Gilson and Lucy Kennedy and Pippa O’Connor, who has a number of Chris’ piece in her Kildare home and just recently gifted one to her father, as well as being featured across the media including on RTE’s Home Of The Year.
Fast becoming Ireland foremost abstract artist, Chris has been commissioned for over 1,000 paintings, 250 of them this year alone, and has shipped his creations across the world and sold at exhibitions, trade shows and art fairs, 33 of them last year alone. Chris has become known for his personable approach with his customers in way of his Call Out Service, which is free to all with no obligation. Chris will personally bring 15 paintings of various sizes and colours to a customer’s home to give a better idea of what might work best in their space. Chris also welcomes all interested in his artwork into his newly opened Gallery and Studio Space in Naas, Co. Kildare, and also his Gallery located in The 1933 Furniture Company, Navan, with plans to opened additional spaces throughout the country in the coming months. Explore Chris O’Hara’s work here: http://chrisoharaart.com