18 September 2023–18 November 2023

Unsuspecting State

Abdalla Al Omari

Ayyam Gallery

Ayyam Gallery is pleased to present Unsuspecting State, a solo exhibition featuring Abdalla Al Omari’s recent body of work.

Starts 18 September 2023

Ends 18 November 2023

Venue Ayyam Gallery

Warehouse 11


Stepping away from his characteristic sarcasm and semi-caricatural representation, Abdalla represents the mundane to express themes that are everything but that. He captures our quotidian and intimate gestures alluding to our deepest secrets and regrets. Deep beliefs and the most discrete thoughts come through when immortalizing moments of everyday life. The unspoken taboos emanating through the movements, sexuality, religion, and drugs, are all part of the conversation. All along, Abdalla plays with anonymity, keeping things universal: The trivial and banal shared by the ordinary person.

The artist leaves the viewer questioning, what the character is doing, and who it could be. Is it an auto-portrait or people in his life? The paradoxical ambiguity, incompleteness, and uncertainty invite the viewer to delve into the image. A sense of voyeurism, where the headless character is viewed without consent, not as a sexual fetish but as an unexplainable urge to observe.

Scale and composition play a significant role in the perception of the work. Tight and tangible spaces are created within a state of awkwardness, while cutting down the elements to the bare minimum. It becomes a visual depiction of fragmented story and a sense of detachment and isolation. The absence of the landscape and the limited space around the subject suggests a dense, yet minimalistic, compositional play between the subject and the background; an eternal fight between the individual and the surrounding environment.