Written by Michael Ashman
Surrealism has a captivating double edge that can either hypnotize the viewers or it can completely turn them off. Surreal art pieces express abstract concepts that cannot simply be understood like traditional art pieces. Instead, one must think of them as windows into the subconscious mind. Many times the dreams of the artist play a significant role in a surrealist piece.
One such artist, Jimmy Ovadia, has talent for capturing mystical dreamscapes. His career as an artist took off after proposing an album cover for one of his favorite bands, Louis XIV, from MySpace. Brian Karscig, from the band, keeps in contact and continues to help him with his continuing works. He grew up in San Diego and has contributed his artwork to places around the community. For example, he collaborates with local bands and The Casbah to create poster and flyer designs for them. He continues to come up with new and better ideas, and becoming a father has made him work harder at what he loves. In a San Diego CityBeat article he says, “I decided I had to go big, or go home.”
Ovadia’s art looks a lot like snapshots taken from his own dreams. For example, the bedroom setting in his work “Attraction” looks normal enough, but the figures in it are far from it. There are many things to uncover in this work. First, the woman in the painting is wearing a yellow lampshade over her head—different from the ordinary one on the nightstand. It’s the kind of frilly lampshade that mimics the dress of a seductive dancer. Second, there are moths climbing everywhere on the man relaxing on the bed. He is not fazed by them at all, even the ones that crawl over his face. They are only attracted to him just like the woman. According to CityBeat, Jimmy explains why he uses moths, “It shows passion, love and being drawn in and captivated by something.” Then it is no coincidence why he chose to put them in this painting called “Attraction.” Finally, the color green on the woman’s purse and shoe is a color that sticks out from the dimly lit room. Green can represent the safety that she feels with him—she is already half-naked and longing for him. Surrealism is about looking past the woman wearing a lampshade, and the man covered in moths, to find the hidden emotions that tie into the subconscious mind.
Jimmy Ovadia imaginative and unrestricted abstract surrealism is something to wonder upon. His inspiration primarily comes from music and draws from its rhythm. He recently was the winner of Scholljah Art Promotion's inaugural Art Battle at the Belly Up Bar thanks to the inspiration from two musical groups, Beyond I Sight and The Simpkin Project. Prints of “Attraction” and other works by Jimmy Ovadia can be bought at Thumbprint Gallery, 920 Kline St. in La Jolla. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm.