Red Bull Arts Detroit is pleased to present Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store, an exploration of the particular interests and passions of the legendary, elusive electronic musician, DJ, and producer, Omar S. Comprised of an interactive, virtual exploration of his personal collection, which ranges from arcade games to records to vintage VHS tapes, as well as a physical installation that will host a series of limited-edition drops, the exhibition maps the esoteric artist’s personal creative landscape and the expansive forces that coalesced to form his singular style.
Originally conceived as a physical exhibition, Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store now lives online as an interactive web environment where users can explore the store and its contents, watch videos, listen to original music, and more. This virtual exhibition highlights numerous elements selected from the artist’s personal archive including his collection of obscure arcade games—some modified by the artist with custom components and sound effects—films, vinyl records, cartridge video games, Detroit music memorabilia, and related paraphernalia that inspired him.
Omar S: Conant Gardens Party Store offers an unprecedented look into the universe of an artist who seldom discusses historical influences, and has often presented his work as strictly in the present. Drawing from the artist’s eclectic personal collection, the exhibition features two interpretive, immersive recreations of the eponymous “party store”—Michigan slang for a small neighborhood convenience store—where the artist spent his formative years. Owned by Omar S’ family since the 1950s, the store housed a number of classic arcade games and pinball machines, some of which Omar S still owns. In addition to introducing the artist to gaming, it also led to his interest in collecting—not only arcade games, but also cartridge video games, memorabilia, records, VHS tapes, synthesizers, drum machines, cars, and more. Now in the artist’s ownership, the space serves as the headquarters for his FXHE imprint.