14 January 2022

by Carlo Tozzi

Noah Latif Lamp through time

Today there is such a variety of different artists in the visual art scenery, so many diverse personalities with their own complexity, all bringing different attributes and expression to the art world. The ones I love the most are those who above all designate knowledge and experimentation as the main guideline for their artistic development.

This category of artist is continuously seeking for a new creative epiphany, they continue to elevate themselves artistically and socially, and set no boundaries to accomplish it. When the epiphany happens and it looks like they have found a productive peace, a creative lay-back moment, this is when they start again – looking for new challenges.

Noah Latif Lamp embodies every aspect and nuance of the artist I have described above and, in my opinion, that any contemporary artist should exemplify. I met Noah a few years ago in Amsterdam and I have soon enough become obsessed with his talent and his huge capability to experiment and to challenge himself continuously and regardless of the huge appreciation he is already getting from the art world.

Noah has the colossal virtue of having never been afraid of becoming an avantgarde and risking to be ignored due to his precocious ideas.

Carlo Tozzi and Noah Latif Lamp

Artistic background and development

Noah describes himself as “ a product of time. A product of different timelines coming together.” Timelines which came from different ethnicities and different cultures. His Dad is Surinamese, part Chinese,and his mother is Jewish.

Noah’s father is an artist and his mother, from Noah’s tales, a very smart and open minded person. Throughout his childhood and adolescence you would find him hanging around artist studio’s, art was a natural environment.

Growing up, Noah never really thought of art as something which could represent a permanent profession and to make a living out of it. It was around the age of 18, following a seizure, that Noah realized how fragile and mutable life is. This, paired with the enlightenment that becoming an artist would be his destiny, allowed Noah to give himself the space to confront himself with the idea of life, death, time and explore human themes that have been prevalent throughout many generations. He opened his eyes to the inevitability of certain events, which reiterate themselves continuously. The exploitation of great human themes became a pivotal part of his artistic vision.

Born into his artistic environment, Noah has been influenced by classical art and by a classical approach to art, but the application he has developed of them is everything but classical. I have been enjoying myself conversing with him on art history and have been learning from him. The sensation I had was not only a vast knowledge of the great masters from the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age, but a different and original point of view. He has clearly trained himself to analyze the old masters and their techniques with an open mind to revisit them. His flawless command in managing oil painting is clear in his very early works, but to fabricate color bombs and exploding them on a canvas, that’s something different! 

Video still’s bomb painting

Recurring themes

Life, society, sex, violence, time, slavery are prevalent themes Noah expresses in his art. Themes that have been very present in the development of human kind and still signify with us today. 

The artist continues to confront himself with them and reviews them in a modern way. Going beyond the barriers of figurative art and expressing the themes through objects, performances and other media. Using the alternating forms of communication to enrich his messages.

Through Noah’s performance “branding©” (2015), Noah expressed the notion of slavery in a dual manner, as the brutal historical phenomenon and as a self-enslavement everyone does with products brands, he branded himself. Enslaving himself he gives a strong lesson to the modern generations in memory of his ancestors who were slaves in the colonies. So the performance he proposed had a win to history and to our own age.

“branding©” (2015)

The concepts Noah has developed based on recurring themes that I have appreciated the most from Noah are the subtle ones. He doesn’t necessarily represent them in an impactful way, but in an accommodative manner, inducing the attention to reach the concept through a path and then expresses its controversy.

For instance the theme of virginity in the Immaculata Conception he re-proposed as a Cryogenic tank filled with sperm. The oldest theme ever, reproposed in a modern way and as a modern issue: women having kids without sex. People see a tool, a representation which takes them through a path which leads them to a thought and to recognize the artist’s theme. So from a certain point of view it’s almost a Jungian inductive cognitive process.

The idea of the gator paintings came to him while he was in a fashion store in Milano and observed the traction and craze around their crocodile leather bags. So he decided to hunt an alligator in his native country and use the skin as a painting tool to produce a series of work. These works led the observers to discover the cruelty he committed to produce such beautiful artworks, creating shame and indignity around it. And questions the indignity that isn’t felt when looking at a Gucci leather bag. Again, making the viewer question the way society judges based on layers and fictitious standards.

Gator painting (2016)

The exhibition “About time”

Time, from conception to end, is something we all experience. We all go through it. Time allows for subjects to form in different ways through both cultural and personal interpretation. 

“About time” explores this behaviour by showcasing a collection of Noah Lamp Latif’s new and old works. The recently developed ‘crop paintings’ embody the visual language of our times. By taking Iphone screenshots of images found on the internet and rendering them in oil paint on panel. 

Exhibited together with renditions of ‘bomb paintings’ which were created by blowing up paint tubes with c4 bought on the dark-web. Symbolizing the strangeness of a world where everything can be obtained through means of technology.

This combination of works indicate the absurdity and abstraction of our times. As well as the role technology plays in this.

Noah asserts: “We live in very extreme times, therefore the artworks should be reflective of this status, we live on crossroads of big changes and therefore we should reflect it in our art, the art of our time, about our time”.

Together with NUC Gallery, we partnered with Noah to provide the opportunity to showcase this exhibition in St.Moritz, Switzerland.

“About Time”

Noah Lamp Latif

11 february – 29 March

NUC Gallery  |  Plaza da scuola 10e, 7500 St.Moritz, Switzerland

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