Omar Arráez

Art was waiting at home for Omar Arráez when he was born in Elda, Alicante in 1982. This art has taken him to produce bodies of work in mixed materials which draw strongly on his past and landscape. His work is inflected with wit and marked with a profound sense of humanity and awareness of the body. There is a subtle presence of intertextuality through his use of medium and location.

Arráez first created with drawing, like every young boy, dipping frantically between sketching, comic illustration and graffiti. He honed his skills commercially working as a shoe designer, but quickly realised the importance of creativity over commerce and made the uncertain leap to studying Fine Arts in Altea. In the heady learning environment of University, Omar pooled every resource to his creative advantage. Opening his mind to text, criticism, his mentors and his peers he began to carve his formative style in Sculpture and Painting while maintaining his experimental roots in non-canvas, site specific and urban expression.

He was awarded a scholarship to Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, where his hands, fired by the ancestry and heritage of art around him, were applied to portraiture through oil painting. This experience galvanized his application to Painting, which he graduated with a degree from Universitat de Barcelona, 2006.

Feeding his creativity from everyday shapes, textures, media and encounters, a slow evolution of experimenting with material, colour and process is crucial to his articulation, especially when “you can always go back to white”. Location is the keystone to his shifting expression in his exhibited works. From Ibiza to Miami, from Edinburgh to New Delhi, the body and layout feed from the space. Using obstacles as opportunities, Arráez allows his exhibition environment to translate his work, much as his earlier site-specific work was transforming his urban and natural surroundings.

E. Carey