Omar Vera: Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts

Primarily known for artwork that focuses on the rise and fall of contemporary popular icons like Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Tyson, Omar Vera has taken his interests in history and design to a whole new digital dimension with the moving image in Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts. Primarily known for artwork that focuses on the rise and fall of contemporary popular icons like Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Tyson, Omar Vera has taken his interests in history and design to a whole new digital dimension with the moving image in Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts. The exhibition featured an animated map work and an installation that shifted our notion of ethnic and geographic boundaries, in addition to stoneware sculptures including a life-size bust of boxing champion Jack Johnson, and an urn illustrating the song “Regulate” by rap artists Nate Dogg and Warren G.

The title of the exhibition references an early 1900’s interview with champion boxer Jack Johnson, whom Vera depicts in a ceramic bust in the show. The interviewer questioned Johnson as to why white women were attracted to black men. Jack Johnson replied, “Because we eat cold eels and think distant thoughts,” which was his both ironic and poetic way of pointing out the ignorance of the question. Vera hoped to encapsulate the sentiment of Johnson’s famous remark in this new body of work.

  • October 26, 2008 – January 11, 2009
  • Cleve E. Carney Gallery

Omar Vera: Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts

About Omar Vera

Omar Vera has exhibited at the Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, and Gallery 2 and the AIC Base Space at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among other venues. He received a B.F.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Vera taught the Ceramics Sculpture class at the Art Center from 2006-2007 and currently lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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