Louis K. Meisel Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition for Yigal Ozeri’s latest series—A New York Story. Curated by Shear Ozeri, this exhibition unveils Ozeri’s new creative direction. For the first time in his Photorealist career, the artist uses urban environments as the backdrop for his paintings of female subjects, thus expanding upon his oeuvre which has previously featured Pre-Raphaelesque women in nature.
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, and 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. Inspired by Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Ozeri’s imagery and compositions flirt with the perimeters and conventions of contemporary street photography.
Sometimes candid, 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. Interrupted by chance encounters, Ozeri has chosen to focus on these moments, 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.
However disparate his new paintings may be in terms of setting, Ozeri’s female muses remain the constant thread throughout this work. A New York Story presents his iconic subjects in a profoundly new context; no longer demure, his models possess a gravitas that was not previously conveyed. Amongst the bustle of New York, the familiar faces of Zuzanna and Cristal no longer appear girlish. Their expressions are defiant and resilient, portraying a newfound strength that was not previously captured by the artist’s hand. Ozeri’s honest approach represents the modern woman in her everyday story.