It's always interesting to find out about the people I photograph for the blog and the second time I photographed Omar I was intrigued by all the pens in his handkerchief pocket. Turns out he's an artist. Deploying one of the pens, he jotted down where I could find him online. Here's what I discovered, must say I was impressed.
The first thing I stumbled on were his "Refugee of Reality" pictures, now I 'get' the pens.
"Custard" Biro on board - also sold.
"Omar's Spuriosity Shop".
Chosen by Art World Magazine as one of the UK's top twenty, here's what Omar himself says about his 'Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art' degree show.
Haven't seen this book in person but it reminds me how uninhibited artists are about 'making marks' on paper. I really envy this ability, we designer types can get way too anal, everything has to be precise and neat looking.
Oh, and there's also the photography, the modelling and the writing.
Ah yes, the writing. The first time I saw Omar's writing I thought it was pretentious DO NOT BE FOOLED I scanned it, I'm a scanner, big mistake. If you actually read it, there's a dark philosophical humour running through it that bizarrely puts me in mind of Spike Milligan....
Thursday night was the launch party for his solo exhibition at Che Camille which runs until the 27th of October.
Couldn't believe my luck when some of the 'Refugee' series made an appearance at the exhibition, if you like David Shrigley you'll love these. After excitedly shuffling through the unframed ones I chose this one. £65. Bargain. Anyone prone to doodling knows black Biro ink has a purplish hue so I'm thinking a deep aubergine/black mount will look great.
I have a mate who swears he can see a colour no one else can. "Bit like orange"
Oh God, not musical too? Yip, moments later we're treated to an acoustic set with a few pals. Bloody polymaths.
Check out his Ska Punk band The Fauves on MySpace
I decide I'd like Omar to sign the back of my picture so remove the celophane and dig out a Biro, must sound like I need him to do it urgently because he drops everything and we find a table to write on. I introduce him to my friend Alysia and when she asks him about his work he offers up one of his business cards from a selection, each one a different image of his work. Wait a minute, that's "Dreams" she's being given - I want that one. I can't stop myself and reach forward and take the card from Alysia's hand.
Awkward.....Omar diplomatically fans out a selection for her to choose from in lieu of me snatching "Dreams". Art makes me covetous and greedy, sorry Alysia, I'm a bitch. Which signature would I like, the stylized one or a natural signature?...without a drop of humility I hear myself ask ..."Can I have both?"
So there you have it, greed, envy, coveting of graven images, dream snatching, and that's just me. Omar however seems very sorted and appears to get all the dark stuff out through his work. Here's what he writes about himself, in the third person of course...
"Despite the way that he presents himself and has been known to behave, It's all smoke and mirrors, he is in fact very approachable."
"The Man From The Kingdom Of Business"
What's next for this interesting young artist who only graduated 4 months ago and by Christmas will have 5 exhibitions under his belt? Well, I believe a collaboration with fellow emerging artist Rich DD Cormack is in the cards, in the form of an elborate 'funeral service for their alter egos'!
I know one thing, I'm buying before Mr Saatchi does, because I'm greedy, remember?
The future's bright, the future's a colour a bit like orange.