|"Tête-à-Tête" Sant Oma. Rue Forge Royale. Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
Last week began the first solo exposition of Sant Oma, aka, Thomas Durcody at Le Cabinet d'Amateur. Sant Oma is an artist, graphic designer, and 2D animator. In addition to appearing on Paris’ walls his art has appeared at the Drawing Now exhibit in March, Traits d’Union at L’Albatross in Montreuil in October, and in Agnes B. gallery, among other spaces.
|"La Taille." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
His work is marked by simplicity: a simple black our white outlined human figure, in various states of explosion, deterioration, failure, combination, and decomposition, accompanied by short, wry titles. Largely, the works explore the fallibility of the human body as well as the myth of the sovereign subject or collective harmony.
|"The Farce." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
For instance, "The Farce," depicts three figures holding up an oozing mass, and then being crushed under its weight, and goo. A more humorous take on Sisyphus' task, The Farce calls attention to the impotence of human labor and its frailty.
|"La Grosse Tête." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
In a short interview Sant Oma spoke about his process, ideas behind the pieces, and some of the objectives he had for the exhibit. Describing his artistic focus as laying "essentially with drawing," he further explained that he works in a "tragic-comedic register...[exploring] existential questions...a way of seeing life...a mode of digesting experiences...[such that] in trying to make open images, one can see something universal...certain dimensions of humanity, and the violence of the world."
|"L'Iceberg." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
This sombre subject matter is explored using the nom-de-plume Sant Oma, a name that Thomas chose for its "transcendental" quality. The gallery show, different than his street based works, allow him, he explained to see how viewers engage with the work, and how they familiarize themselves with the drawings he shares. His art is a "means of communication and exchange."
|"La Courte Échelle." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
Despite the dark themes, he evinced an optimism that viewers would receive the work as "tragi-comedic," understanding that he does not "show horrible things just to show horrible things" but to elucidate something about the human condition.
|"Richochet." Sant Oma. Cabinet de L'Amateur, Paris. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
Despite the heavy themes that Sant Oma employs, his method has involved écriture automatique, automatic writing, a very fast mode of drawing that allows ideas to emerge swiftly using an extremely minimalist form. Such simplicity, however, enables the viewer to be captivating by the essential gestures of the drawn form.