Manyearsago: The Abstract Truth

4th August – 8th September 2016

Omer Tiroche Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition of Jerusalem-based graffiti artist Manyearsago. Born and raised in Netanya, the artist was just six years old when he first became fascinated by the graffiti around his school yard. As a teenager, this interest developed into a passion for creating a new form of street art. Now a graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, he continues to spread his art around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Influenced by Pichação (a type of graffiti unique to São Paulo, Brazil), Manyearsago’s style is not quite what one would expect; a stark contrast to the ‘regular’ graffiti that we are familiar with. Graffiti tags are often brightly painted, with round edges and stylised figures; by contrast, Pichação is rarely figurative, with the black letters formed by straight lines and sharp finishes. The word Pichação itself suggests the Portuguese verb ‘pichar’, meaning ‘to cover with tar’, and can be shortened to ‘Pixos’ (‘a jagged look’).

Abstract, Expressionist, Constructivist and Futurist Art, as well as artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, El Lissitzky, Mark Rothko and Keith Haring, have had a great impact on the artist’s themes and aesthetic. Echoing the approach of Rothko, Manyearsago aims to create an emotional response from his audience. Preferring a monochromatic palette of black and white, he sets up a powerful dialogue between the audience, art and himself. As a viewer you will find yourself lingering, contemplating and trying to relate to the abstract truth of the work.

The Abstract Truth borrows its name from the jazz record, The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Written by American composer and jazz saxophonist Oliver Nelson, the album is an unconventional exploration of the blues, with only a few tracks keeping to the traditional 12-bar form. Reflecting the loose style of Nelson’s composition, Manyearsago takes a building as his blank canvas, using paint to rhythmically explore the surrounding environment and his mood towards it. His unique style of graffiti is an art form that begins with a structure, yet finishes with improvisation.