May 3, 2012

Art Inspired: Oded Halahmy, Homeland

For many years I've wanted to meet Oded Halahmy, an Iraqi artist, whose work I connect deeply with every time I see it. This week I had the pleasure of meeting him in his Soho gallery in New York. Oded took me to his studio and guided me through several floors of cavernous rooms filled with hundreds of his pieces, some finished, some in states of creation,  scores of reliefs, and many drawers filled with all sizes of his cast motifs--just waiting to be used in sculptures--incredible pieces filling every shelf nook and cranny. It was truly a kid in a candy store experience. 


All the while Oded explained his techniques, his inspirations, his method of working as I took in decades of his career from early figurative to more abstract, and then to the present which is a mixture of both.  I can't explain why Oded's work resonates so strongly with me any more than one can explain magnetic attraction to another human being. It just spoke to me from the moment I saw his work at my friend Danny's home


Oded's work has been collected by a long list of major museums and collectors all over the world including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and so on--but I didn't know any of that when I first saw it. I just reacted to the exquisite finish of turquoise, the handled quality of the sculpture, the elegant shape topped with a pomegranate, the unexpected  color. That there is a deeply personal autobiographical story behind his work is obvious, and it turns out, Oded Halahmy is also an idealist, who founded the non profit Pomegranate Gallery in NYC, whose mission is to create  peace in Iraq, the Middle East, and around the world and represents both Jewish and Arab artists, using all proceeds to help war widows in the Middle East. It would be easy to classify Oded Halahmy's work as ethnic, but there is a universal  message in every piece that transcends the specific.

Today's Art Inspired Fashion post looks to Oded Halahmy's sculpture, "Homeland", which contains some of his most iconic motifs.

"Homeland" at Sagaponack Sculpture Field

What is a homeland? Where is my homeland? I feel like a nomad, and my homeland is the place where I am working and living. The very landscape I sculpt is a statement of my home at peace. 
All land is holy.

 ~ Oded Halahmy


Details: Dries Van Noten silk print dress $1,765; See by Chloe cotton dress $140; Willow draped dress $595; Stella McCartney knit sweater; ASOS wedge pumps, $155; Halleh diamond chain necklace $6,360; Dries Van Noten white sunglasses $330; Mary Jo Matsumoto Trestles Shopper $620

* Craving more Art Inspired Fashion? There are 100+ more Art Inspired Style posts linked on the right hand index.


The Dainty Dolls House said...

Marvelous their movement and shape!! The dress with the leaves on it, is so pretty, I love that!! Am doing great doll, I hope you are too :) xoxo

Long Lost Jewelry said...

Ahh to live a day in the life of jet setting Mary Jo Matsumoto! Another lovely post and art history lesson for me. :) Trestles shopper is magnificent!

rolala said...

What a treat that you got to meet an artist whose work has resonated so strongly with you. This art inspired post is totally inspired. Love the tropical motif!

Thanks for all your sweet support Mary Jo! I'm moving in the right in right direction now and will continue to take it easy with my comeback.

Hope you're enjoying Germany!

xo Rowena @ rolala loves

SG Angela said...

adore that blue tote.

classiq said...

Thank you for the introduction, Mary Jo. Such unique pieces, I don't think I've seen anything like it. And the way you translated the sculpture in fashion is fantastic. xo

Alexis Grace said...

What an amazing experience. I love his sculptures- and Homeland is such a fantastic example.

And of course, your translation is dead on!

dimitri said...

It's a very talented artist. This post is so interesting May Jo.
Love your selection of pieces. They are beautiful.

Blond Duck said...

I love how you mix wearable and 3D art inspirations.

Alexa said...

I seriously LOVE this series. It's so fun to see what you come up with Mary Jo. You have such an eye for both art and fashion.

About Last Weekend said...

Loved the pieces and then saw the artist - what a very very cool looking man. You have rounded up all the best of the tropical fashions!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

How amazing to have met an icon and artist that has inspired you! I wish I had more time to explore art in NYC - alas, next time!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Anita said...

Lovely blog.

Punctuation Mark said...

it's such a great thing when you meet those amazing artists... such a creative talent... where in the world are you? have a fantastic weekend!

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Such unique and interesting pieces -- the art and the fashion! I always love your pairings.


What wonderful pieces and how fortunate you were to get to meet him. Thanks so much for the introduction. I wasn't familiar with his work. I'll have to pay a visit to his gallery in the near future.

Hope you're having a wonderful trip, Mary Jo! xoxo

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I LOVE the process here. What one person's muse does for them may not ring EXACTLY the same for someone else, but what DOES coincide is the beauty of watching an artist unveil the magic of their vision with such grace, determination and conviction. What a wonderful collection of talent! THANK YOU as well for visiting me last night! Anita

Cafe Fashionista said...

I LOVE the tropical, summery feel of this look - beautiful! :)

Couture Carrie said...

Amazing work!
How awesome that you got to meet the artist!


Claire said...

as always, i love the art inspired outfits! i've been quite obsessed with palm trees and Hawaiian prints lately. love your choices and how cute are those ASOS shoes!!!

Glam Fashionista said...

Such great pieces. Thanks for the introduction. Glad you met him and spent the day seeing his talent.

Sarah Klassen said...

How fascinating!

Mary Jo, I always enjoy your blog and the people and talent that you share here. This wonderful man is no exception—it must have been amazing to look at the hundreds of pieces—maybe overwhelming at first? But amazing...


Trust Your Style © 2013.