Omar Houssrey’s family, rooted in the Levant region, moved frequently in order to flee war and authoritative dysfunction. As a result, the artist has called many places home - Montreal, London, Málaga (where he is now based) - but takes comfort most in dissolving notions of identity, uncovering the truth that everything is an amalgamation.
Making drawings, he runs with gut feeling. His work exists in a similar space as his cultural identity - liminal, but grounded in its liminality. His study of traditional Islamic art lends the use of the arabesque and its relationship to the divine. Unafraid of descending into the realms of comic illustration and the typography of street art, Omar speaks multiple aesthetic languages. His attempt at making sense of the world is therefore able to be understood in one way or another, pointing to human resilience and the idea that everything is connected beyond life’s superficialities.
About his work he says:
"My aim is not to create a body of work that looks the same, but rather a diverse expressive visual language, bound by the underlying theme of unity relating to multiplicity - the idea that everything is invariably interconnected (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually). Whatever affects someone directly, affects everyone else indirectly.
I tend to draw conceptual inspiration from real life, dealing with a mixed cultural identity and experiencing oppressive dysfunction brought about by authority figures, exploring the possible causal effects of this behaviour, and how to abandon it.
I use pencils and inks for their immediacy, to produce a mixture of typographic and image based artworks. I am not bothered to make them accurate, realistic or tidy; it’s the pursuit of a sense of freedom that satisfies me. Improvisation also plays an immense role in my work. I may have a starting point and work within certain parameters, but I never stick to a plan - it would ruin the process for me.
My intention with the artworks is to allow for self-reflection in the hope of presenting a new perspective to someone. The viewer's reaction to the artwork, whatever that may be, can reveal a lot about their own thoughts. "