logo
fr en

OMAR, Arthur

PORTRAIT-OMARBorn in 1947 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, where he lives and works.

Arthur Omar is a multifaceted Brazilian artist with a remarkable presence in many fields of artistic production. He works with cinema, video, photography, installation art, music, poetry, drawing, besides writing the essays and theoretical reflections on art that accompany his creations and play an integral role in them.

Themes such as aesthetic ecstasy, social violence, visual metaphors, and the search for a new iconography to represent elements of Brazilian culture mark all of his oeuvre, which ranges from experimental documentaries to video-art, from fashion to fiction films, from web-art and photography to video-installations.

He was a highlight of the Bienal de Arte de São Paulo 1997 with the installation A Grande Muralha – Anthropology of the Glorious Face, a 40-meter-long pannel of 99 large photographs depicting images of extasis and carnival.

His feature film Triste Trópico (1974) is recognized by several critics as one of the key works of Brazilian cinema. In 1999, he was the subject of a complete retrospective (33 films and videos) at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2001, a complete retrospective was organized by Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

He recently published the photography books Antropologia da Face Gloriosa (“Anthropology of the Glorious Face” 1997) and O Zen e a Arte Gloriosa da Fotografia (“Zen and the Glorious Art of Photography”) and The Splendor of Opposites: adventures of colour walking over.

He participates in the module Cidades Utópicas (“Utopian Cities”) of the 25th Bienal de Arte de São Paulo (2002) with an installation and photo exhibit entitled Viagem ao Afeganistão: Buda on the rocks (“Journey to Afghanistan: Buddha on the rocks”) a result of his trip to that country on an aesthetic mission.


Arthur Omar presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2005: Anthropology of the Glorious Face at the Atelier des Forges.