Iranians Express Themselves through Modern Art
Aliabdai and Farhad Moshiri, We Are All American Operation Supermarket
Series 2006 Ink Jet Print 100 x 75 cm copyright artists
After the controversial electoral candidacy of Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad and the violent demonstrations following in Iran, the
exhibit "Iran Inside Out" couldn't be more relevant. The
exhibit will be open from June 26 until September 5, 2009 at the
Chelsea Museum of Art.
Fifty-six Iranian artists have been selected in order
to share their vision on their country and Diaspora through artistic
language. This exhibit is a view of Iran from the inside and the
The exhibition is spread out on two floors and includes
photography, videos, paintings, and sculptures. It is more than
just informative. As Till Fellrath, curator of the exhibit says,
"it is more an attempt to examine how a divided population
has adapted on both sides."
Filizadeh, Rustam Series, Photomontage digital print on canvas,
various dimensions, 2009 copyright artist and courtesy of Aaran
The exhibit is separated on five sections on different
topics: "War and Politics," "Gender and Sexuality,"
"On street Culture with Tehran," "On Culture as Commodity"
and " On Reinventing the Traditional Art Forms." Most
visitors are surprised. Far from the cliché, Iranian art is not
only Persian calligraphy and veiled woman on the streets of Tehran.
Iranian artists are inspired by their roots and culture, but also
express their opinions on the global art movement. That's why this
art is so impressive and at the same time different from what we
are used to.
The photojournalist Abbas Kowsari presents a surprising
collection of pictures on a bodybuilding contest representing masculinity,
portraying an unknown face of Iran today.
In "Operation Supermarket," photographers
Farhad Moshiri and Shirin Aliabadi create photomontages with supermarket
products. The artists describe their works as "poetry with
One of the most impressive works for me was by Nazgol
Ansarina. They seem to be just a Persian decoration, but if you
get closer, you will notice that each line represents a person and
an action of the daily life in Tehran. They are amazing, bright
and beautiful. Unfortunately, the museum could not provide piuctures
of these works and would not allow me to take my own.
Communication and interaction between women in Tehran
are also explored in the exhibit by Saghar Daerri and her paintings.
Women are painted in colorful dresses, with headscarves stylishly,
casually worn; legs fashionably revealed, aggressively pulling colorful
garments off racks in a discount sale. The Their emotional expressions
and colorful renderings contrast with the usual perception of women
in Iran. As Saghar Daerri said "My aim is to show that girls
are girls anywhere. In Iran and anywhere else in the world."
In this difficult period for Iranian people, this
exhibit is a good place to go in order to discover more this country,
and your perception of Iranian art.