Dirty Linen Night

O'Neill Gallery

A professional art career came late to Peter O’Neill but in truth, it was close to not coming at all. After two failed marriages and a botched suicide attempt, Peter O’Neill felt he had nothing and found himself in a New Jersey hospital hopelessly despondent and in treatment for acute depression. Then something clicked within him. He looked around at the others with truly severe mental impairments and realized that he did not belong where he was. He checked out of the hospital and literally, checked himself back into life. Peter’s childhood dreams had been to become an artist; but he received little in the way of positive re-enforcement. “I liked to draw when I was a kid, but art classes weren't even offered and when I’d sketch in my notebook, they’d tell me, ‘stop drawing, and pay attention!’” With no positive influence, he took a job in real estate with the lure of riches and prestige. Still, Peter could never shake the feeling that art was his true calling in life. When his career crumbled along with his second marriage, he found himself at a crossroads.