How many exhibition works:
Pontone Gallery is excited to present a new series of paintings of London by the New York-based artist, Yigal Ozeri. These hyperreal, figurative pictures document contemporary street life. Already established as a critically acclaimed and commercially successful painter of the female figure, Ozeri has latterly switched his focus to a grittier evocation of the cultural landscape. This exhibition continues the theme first explored in last year’s ‘A New York Story’.
Ozeri’s compositions reference the casual snapshot, the artful arrangements of editorial photography and the apparent randomness of ‘cinema verité’. People and objects are cropped, partly obscured and fragmented to deliver an impression of fast-moving, undifferentiated urban life. Despite its apparent spontaneity, this is deliberate, carefully chosen and meticulously edited image-making. The paintings are rendered in the artist’s trademark painstaking technique. At first sight they appear to be photographs; closer inspection reveals them to be painted. There is a dynamic tension between the ostensibly arbitrary content and its deliberate execution. The subjects of the paintings have had huge attention lavished on them - they are not simply picturesque, but are significant. The painter is telling a story.
Ozeri’s story evokes his own experience of coming to the big city from Israel to make his mark. He alludes to city life in its multiplicity of manifestations. We see the pace, dislocation and energy of contemporary coexistence with its’ wealth of difference - differences that are graphically signalled by its citizens, the majority of which are caught communing with their mobile telephones.
Is this an alienated, self-absorbed population, atomised in its own bubble of narcissism? Or is this a city of people finding new ways to make connections? In this respect, Ozeri’s London is not so dissimilar from the boiling melting-pot of New York.
74 Newman Street,