Yigal Ozeri’s latest body of work, “A New York Story” unveils Ozeri’s new creative direction. For the first time in his photorealistic career, the artist uses urban backdrops for his paintings of female subjects, thus expanding on his oeuvre which has previously featured Pre-Raphaelesque women in nature.
As a New Yorker himself, Ozeri has developed an eye for the unconventional moments of beauty that city dwellers have long embraced. His newest series features the grittier aspects of New York; the meat markets of Chinatown, the dilapidated subway, the vacant lots of Red Hook-as well as the more traditionally beloved locales-Washington Square Park and Dumbo. It is in these offbeat settings that Ozeri’s work begins to capture a more 21st century sensibility. Ozeri’s imagery and composition flirt with the perimeters and conventions of contemporary street photography.
Sometimes candid, like the man in the subway, sometimes staged, the imagery from “A New York Story” is invigorated with drama. Darkness, fluorescence and natural light compete for attention, amongst the complex and layered subject matter. The rhythm of the city translates into streaming movement across the canvas. It is in these unexpected moments where Ozeri’s compositions are the strongest. He has chosen to focus on the chance encounters rather than censor them. Strangers have integrated their way into his compositions, exemplifying the true essence of New York. The chaotic pulse of the city envelopes the still figure creating an unexpected meditative connection between the viewer and the subject.