Reviews & Articles

The World According to Noam

By Karni Am-Ad, The Kibbutz, July 2008

Noam Omer's exhibition at the Kibbutz Gallery shines like a rare diamond that moves and grips the viewer

When a creator or curator decide to name an exhibition "The World" they may seem like megalomaniacs with high-blown pretensions way beyond their earthly dimensions.  But Noam Omer (the artist) and Yaniv Shapira (the curatior) mean something different from the universe created by God or the Big Bang.  Their "world" is the inner and outer world created by Omer as consolation for his stormy soul, a world unconquerable in its wildness.

Noam Omer's world is imprisoned in huge paper sheets, but threaten to jump out into the open space.  This is the world of those with attention and concentration disorders.  Precisely that inborn blemish, which weighs so heavy on the ability of its bearers to focus their attention, jettisoning it onto ever new distracting stimuli, allows Noam to be a painter with unique and authentic qualities.

Noam's paintings are partially based on photographs, but there is no sign of mechanical copying in them.  The works deal with a masculine world stocked full with fishermen, sportsmen, fathers and sons.  The painted figures, which sometimes look like fallen gods or noble savages, are surroundeed by spouts of water or fire or undefined arabesques.  Out of his "poor" materials the young and restless painter creates a world teeming with happenings and developments.

The more the works are "disturbed", less coherent and less logical, the more they grip and move.  For instance, in the "Peacock", a massive figure bursting with energy is surrounded by a shimmering rainbow of forms, lines and numbers.  Similar effects are achieved in "the Wolf" and in "Elephants".

Also the "Pietá"-series (a father carrying a son, a fisherman carrying a fish) is highly successful.  Maybe the sports' series is less powerful, although also here the issue is "the game of life" and not the depiction of any specific form of sport.  The ball may then be the world-ball, kicked, thrown and hit by men possessed by a demonic chaos. 

The curator Yaniv Shapira writes about the artistic influences on Omer's work.  He names Van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Bacon, Yehudith Lewin, and Meir Agassi.  These influences can be detected, and Noam confirms them, but the mention of these masters does not do justice to Noam's work.  His art can be identified only with himself, and he looks like a rare diamond among the false stones that are daily presented in "reputable" galleries.

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