The whole gritty city
photos by Kevin O'Mara
words by Paul Oswell
I can't remember the first time I saw Kevin O'Mara's photos. Someone put me onto him before I moved here, and I must have been at least somewhat impressed because I resolved to meet the guy - which I did (it was easy, he likes drinking in bars as well) - and god damn if we haven't been friends for some years now.
To my layman's mind, Kevin's eye is part lover of NOLA, part removed transplant, part surrealist trickster and part plain realist. He captures all sides of the city from the magical to the ugly, all with the same fascination and curiosity. His photos betray a genuine drive to understand this place, and when that fails (because not even New Orleans can understand itself sometimes), he just gives up and gets weird.
His natural modesty (artistic modesty, I mean. Catch him after a few glasses of Dickel whiskey for further insight) comes across in his pictures, I think. As does his love of grand and crumbling architecture, street scenes and papier mache masks.
In short, I like the eyes Kevin puts on this city, and I'm glad he's here quietly documenting things. For more insights into Kevin's brain (at your own risk), you can go and look at his Flickr Stream. He is also active on the Twitters and you can follow him here: @komara
(All images copyright Kevin O'Mara).