A great irony for an Iranian who is based in Iran and loves Iranian arts, especially contemporary Iranian art is that you never get to see them in Iran. Either the government will not let them be shown or the Iranian artist is an exile and banned from the country. Many great pieces of contemporary Iranian arts have never been seen or shown in Iran. They are shown in galleries in New York or London. Just couple days ago, a group of really talented Iranian artists showcased their art in a gallery in NYC. Great pieces of art that will probably never be seen on a wall in a gallery in Tehran for it’s primary intended audience.


Shadi GHADIRIAN, The Qajar Series, 1998-2001

The Ghajar dynasty ruled Iran from 1794-1925; and from its inception photography was popular with the elite, documenting women as well as men. The images from this period tend to share stylistic devices: people are posed, usually as individuals rather than groups, in the very elaborate settings of their homes, often sat next to or holding prized possessions or objects of status. In photos of this period, women were permitted to be pictured in less formal dress within the privacy of their homes […] 

Inspired by 19th century photographs from the Ghajar period – the first portraits to be permitted by religious law – Ghadirian carefully reconstructed the opulent style of these images with the help of many friends: borrowing antique furnishings and costumes, commissioning the painted backdrops, inviting them to pose in the images.

Picturing each woman in a bygone era, each scene is jarringly interrupted by the presence of contemporary products – a phone, boom-box, hoover – pointing to a culture clash of tradition and progress. The women stare out from the photos with an unnerving directness, detached from their environment, and confident within themselves.

[…] In this piece Ghadirian’s surreal time-warp happens in reverse: the initial joke is that the 1980s radio is out of place in the antique setting, but it is the vintage scene and pose which is in fact much more modern. Ghadirian uses this subtle humour to describe a contemporary Iranian female experience of existing as if outside of time

Saatchi Gallery

Shirin Neshat, Zarin from Women Without Men, 2005

A highlight from The Andy Warhol Museum sale, which features works by artists responding to the Pop artist’s creative legacy.


Photographs from the opening reception for the exhibition PORTRAITS: REFLECTIONS BY EMERGING IRANIAN ARTISTS, Curated by Roya Khadjavi Heidari + Massoud Nader, Rogue Space Chelsea, New York, September 17th – 29th, 2014, images posted with permission of the AKArt.

Photographs by Blair Prentice (iheartmyart)

  1. Sepanta Ghassemkhani, Lateral Inversion, 2011, Single-channel video, 09:30 min. Dimensions variable Edition 5 of 7
  2. Alishia Morassaie, My 9 cm Friends 5, 2011, Water color on paper, mixed media, 11.8 inches tall / 30 centimeters tall
  3. Dadbeh Bassir, Untitled, 2005-2006, X-ray and digital photograph on light box, 29.5 x 37.4 inches / 75 x 95 centimeters, Edition 1 of 7
  4. Morteza Pourhosseini, The Circus 2 (Self Portrait), 2013, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches / 150 x 150 centimeters
  5. Babak BidarianBoy in Passion Play | Coming of Age, 2013, Oil on canvas, 31.5 x 39.3 inches / 80 x 100 centimeters
  6. Farsad Labbauf, Mossadegh, 2013, Archival paper giclee print, 39.4 x 29.5 inches / 100 x 75 centimeters, Edition 4 + 5 of 7
  7. Hossein Edalatkah, My Life, My Body, My Bio series, 2009, Mixed media on canvas, 70.9 x 31.5 inches / 180 x 80, centimeters
  8. Nasser Bakhshi, Portraits of Generations, 2010, Oil on canvas, 23.6 x 23.6 inches / 60 x 60 centimeters
  9. Nasser Bakhshi,When We Were Together, 2010, Wood and glass box, mixed media with strings, glass, pin, fabric and paint, 19.7 x 23.6 x 3.9 inches / 50 x 60 x 10 centimeters
  10. Amirhossein Radaie, Ghajar Woman series, 2012, Bronze, 13.8 x 9.4 x 9.4 inches / 35 x 24 x 24 centimeters, Edition 1 of 5


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Babak Golkar “Grounds for Standing and Understanding”

In this work, Golkar juxtaposes specific Western modernist tendencies, such as the use of minimalist language in modern architecture, against the very specific traditions of the geometric patterns found in nomadic Persian carpets. This juxtaposition generates a dynamic visual and conceptual reflection on existent cultural barriers, while additionally referencing the erected symbols of western patriotism against the emerging megapolis’ of Middle-Eastern countries. 

Jinoos TaghizadehRock, Paper, Scissors series, 2006, Mixed media on lenticular paper, 26.8 x 20.9 inches / 68 x 53 centimeters, image posted with permission of the AKArt.

Part of the Exhibition: PORTRAITS: REFLECTIONS BY EMERGING IRANIAN ARTISTS, Curated by Roya Khadjavi Heidari + Massoud Nader, Rogue Space Chelsea, New York, September 17th – 29th, 2014

 Wednesday, September 17th, 2014, 6-9 PM


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♥ iheartmyart | facebook | twitter | instagram | flickr | mailing list pinterest  

See more Jinoos Taghizadeh on iheartmyart.
See more Iranian artists on iheartmyart.