“Unsuspecting State” by Abdalla Al Omari at Ayyam Gallery

Sometimes I Salute Nothing, 2023, Acrylic on linen, 90 x 82.5 cm

Ayyam Gallery presents “Unsuspecting State,” a solo exhibition showcasing Abdalla Al Omari’s latest body of work. While this marks his second solo exhibition at Ayyam Gallery, it’s his first as a represented artist.

In a departure from his usual sarcasm and semi-caricatured style, Abdalla portrays the ordinary, using it to convey profound themes. He captures the mundane and intimate moments that hint at a person’s deepest secrets and regrets. Through everyday gestures, he addresses unspoken taboos related to movements, sexuality, religion, and addiction, making these ordinary experiences part of a larger conversation.

Integration is Hard, 2023, Acrylic on linen, 46 x 47 cm

Abdalla maintains anonymity in his art, making it universally relatable—the everyday experiences of ordinary people. Viewers are left pondering the character’s identity and actions, fostering ambiguity and inviting exploration. This sense of voyeurism, where headless characters are observed without consent, sparks an inexplicable urge to watch.

The scale and composition of his work play a vital role in perception. Tight, uncomfortable spaces are created, reducing elements to a minimum, resulting in fragmented narratives and a feeling of detachment and isolation. The absence of landscapes and limited surrounding space engage in a visual dialogue between the subject and the background, representing an ongoing struggle between the individual and their environment.

Sometimes I Salute Nothing, 2023, Acrylic on linen, 90 x 82.5 cm copy

About Abdalla Al Omari

Abdalla Al Omari, initiated his artistic journey in Damascus amidst the Syrian conflict outbreak. Driven by his personal encounters with war, he explores the dynamics of identity and power.

In his latest collection, he veils the face, prioritising bodily expressions over identity, thus unveiling intricate psychological states. His scenes are set in everyday scenarios, capturing intimate, unguarded moments that reveal the genuine and universally relatable aspects of his subjects.

Photography holds a central role in his creative process, serving as the foundation for his paintings. Precise framing becomes the storytelling vessel within the image, offering hints about what exists beyond the frame. Omari manipulates perspective and angles to craft a realistic ambiance that draws viewers in. His work extracts poetry and aesthetics from the mundane, offering a fresh outlook on our surroundings.

Omari earned his degree in English Literature from the University of Damascus and trained at the Adham Ismail Institute for Visual Arts. He also collaborated with Syrian artists Ghassan Sibai and Fouad Dahdouh. His artworks can be found in collections worldwide, including the Barjeel Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates, the Fenix Museum in Rotterdam, Kamel Gallery in Syria, and the Syrian Ministry of Culture, among others.

Location: 18 September –8 November, 2023

Dates: Ayyam Gallery, Alserkal, Dubai



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