The World in Pencils

March 2021

Those who know Noam Omer’s previous work, wouldn't think that pencils are an adequate medium for his expression.   His works are usually characterized by a glaring presence, the figures seem about to jump at the observer or break away from their limiting frame. For this reason, Noam’s choice of color pencils as the major technique he used throughout the year (2020) may seem peculiar.  Maybe a good way to understand this contrast is to think about the difference between symphonic and chamber music.  In chamber music, the artist speaks quietly to a small group of persons in a room, or even to himself.  This is how Noam speaks in these intimate works in color pencils.  Whereas in his other works, the effect is often produced by stark contrasts, in the present ones they come across by rich but delicate texture.  Whereas in his other works he presents faces and bodies that are almost torn by powerful emotions, in his pencil drawings he investigates the inner and often hidden feelings.  The characteristic of lyricism would probably not characterize his other works.  But it does show, perhaps surprisingly, in the present ones.

Noam’s first show at the Kibbutz Gallery in 2008 was called “The World”.  The present one is entitled “The World in Pencils” to emphasize both the continuity and the difference from his previous works.  The world of the present exhibition developed gradually, from individuals, to couples and little by little to complex scenes involving many characters.  Noam “conquered” this new territory gradually, starting with his inner view of lonely individuals, to the peculiar ways he depicts meetings between two or three figures, to “murals” depicting rich and complex scenes with a multiplicity of parallel characters in their urban scenery. All individual portraits were made during the first months of the year.  Gradually, Noam developed the courage and the know-how to tackle more and more complex interpersonal scenes.

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