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Negative Space Art - Noma Bar

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Negative Space Art by Noma Bar

Israeli illustrator Noma Bar cleverly uses negative space to create some thought provoking illustrations. His artworks are so simple, yet so clever you cant fail to be impressed.

An artist using negative space relies on the space that surrounds the subject to provide shape and meaning. Of course, the term also refers to any topic that conjures feelings of unease and discomfort, says the artist in hislatest book called Negative Space. Born in 1973 in Israel, Noma graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in 2000. Since 2001, he has been working in London with a lot of big names and media outlets including: Vodafone, Coca Cola, BBC, The Observer, The Economist, Wallpaper and many more. Bar has illustrated over sixty magazine covers, published over 550 illustrations and released two books: Guess Who The Many Faces of Noma Bar, in 2008 and Negative Space in early 2009

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Burka Ban


Pointed sense

Escape the Weather

Forgive Your Enemies

Fatal Attraction

Final Cut

Great Jones Street (D. DeLillos novel)

Gun Crime



IBM : In India Tiny Loans Can Make a Difference

IBM; Now Food Can Tell How Fresh it is

Iraq Oil

Algae Fuel


Political Cities


Think Harder

Pensions and Properties

Power to the Individual

Wish You Were Here

Red Riding Hood

Shy Guy


Tea for Two

Book Cover

Charlie Chaplin When Bar works with black and white, he relies on negative space to create forms that allow elements to float. Here, Bar uses one of Charlie Chaplin's most famous on-screen moments to define his face, though there are few actual lines . Inspired by Chaplin's shoeeating scene in The Gold Rush, Bar turns a shoelace sum spaghetti strand into Chaplin's eye and nose; the shoe works double duty as both moustache and mouth.

Bill Murray As Bar started work on Bill Murray, he was pleased to discover that in profile, Murray's face created a ghoulish figure in the negative space. The Ghostbusters icon for an eye is a rather obvious, but effective choice.

Harry Potter We've all been exposed to the Harry Potter hype. The success of this image is how it speaks directly to the fictional Harry Potter story, as well as the reality of this multi-million dollar industry. The centerpiece of the illustration is the wand, which evokes fanciful magic, as well as the almighty dollar.

George Bush

Uri Geller

William Shakespeare The first face Bar ever published, a full page for Time Out London related to a feature article about a BBC program called 'The Search for Shakespeare.'

Joseph Stalin The hammer and sickle get rearranged into Joseph Stalin's nose and mouth. That these two icons can be taken out of context, but remain in context in that they possess such associative power that the viewer will know who this feature face is, bolsters the effectiveness of Bar's approach to illustration

Bob Dylan

A true cultural icon, Bob Dylan is no stranger to being interpreted. Bar keeps this one simple, using three of Dylan's tools of the trade: musical notations, guitar, harmonica. That Bar can invest such age and mystery into a face that is primarily white negative space is yet another example of his ability to see subjects as more than just people -they are their careers.

Albert Einstein Commissioned by The Economist for a cover story about 100 years of Einstein. Though the illustration was never printed, Bar considers this a perfect example of combining two icons, which results in something that is 'almost like a logo.' Einstein's famously unkempt hair and the atomic symbol, with the molecules as eyes, for this famous face.

Nelson Mandela Many of Bar's subjects become his subjects because of dubious behavior. Nelson Mandela's anti-apartheid activism, however, is a story of incredible strength in the face of imprisonment and injustice that concluded with triumph. Mandela was South Africa's first president to be voted into office in a representative democratic election. Mandela figuratively broke the shackles that imprisoned him for 27 years, and it is this strength that Bar celebrates with this illustration

Kim Jong-Il Known the world over for his cavalier rhetoric about North Korea's nuclear capability, missile contrails make for the glasses of Kim Jong-Il. Commissioned by the Guardian, Bar was under a deadline, and to this day when he looks at this illustration, he wishes he had had the time to use only one missile. Be that as it may, the illustration works, as it looks like Kim and also incorporates what he is known for, weaponry and antagonizing the United States.

Noma Bars Profile

Noma Bar & Negative Space A video clip

Noma Bar - Printed Interview

Artwork: All from the WWW Music: Ernesto Cortazar - Red Roses for a Blue Lady

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