Tangible to In-Tangible - New work by Nahem Shoa
Nahem Shoa’s artistic vision draws heavily on the current state of the world, art history and the complex and visionary language of his subconscious imagination. Shoa creates multi coloured, layered, contemporary figurative paintings that combine translucent vibrant drizzles, of paint, chunky impasto, hallucinatory colour glazes with emotional drawing marks scratched into the surface of the canvas.
The abstract, real, visible and the hidden, harmonize In these contemporary scenes that capture the zeitgeist of this present moment in history, that lingers in our collective unconscious.
Strange half human creatures inhabit Shoa’s paintings, but they are not monsters or gods but the animal nature of mankind. They wear outlandish costumes, their faces hidden or they wear grotesque masks as if in some surreal spectacle.
These paintings are played out like grand dramas, combining elements of the notion of 'Paradise' and humanities yearning to go back to a 'Golden Age'.
Paintings and drawings full of black humour show a darker, fearful and almost nightmarish scenario of contemporary life.
Shoa constructs his contemporary scene with theatrical flair: his figures are staged in Baroque compositions and there is always an element of spectacle, drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of Art History and technique. Like Doig, Richter, Rauch and Ghenie, Shoa gets to the heart of the expressiveness of paint capturing a poetic vibrancy through texture, richness of colour and illusion of light.
Shoa progresses the ‘obsolete’ tools of oil painting even after Warhol. Painting has always reinvigorated itself after the countless proclamations of its death. The tangible qualities in the way he uses paint seem to glue together the intangibilities of our history and yet he manages to create work of contemporary resonance.
He likes to combine the obvious with the shadowy, the recognizable with the incomprehensible into dissonant units, thus transferring a lasting remembrance to the viewer's visual memory store.
"For the last 4 months I have spent hours making drawings of trees in city parks and heaths, and for me I see them as forests of the city. Over this time I found a way of drawing solely by mark making that seems for my own art to be a bridge between observation and the imagination. The Forest is a fragile thing, whilst I was drawing trees, millions of acres of forests around the world were being destroyed by huge forest fires," Nahem Shoa
Paradise Lost 2017 and The Wild Abyss 2017 was part of a group show Into The Wild Abyss, based on John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. Nahem Shoa exhibited his work with artists Gordon Cheung and Rui Matsunaga at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter, June - September 2017.