The human face is the most familiar image we know. We are masters of detecting the most subtle emotions in people’s faces. Human skin is a canvas of expression. In a culture where representing the body is restricted, the uncovered flesh of the face becomes more significant.
The artist is a self-taught painter, receiving his formal education in Digital Arts. As his painting has progressed, styles have evolved and parallel techniques now exist simultaneously. In a digitally dominated world, the painter is still using his hands, while his head is mostly in cyberspace. The artist is constantly experimenting with paint, struggling to figure out the alchemy of color in a vast array of substances.
These 10 recent portraits make up the artist’s first painting exhibition. They follow in the train of 150 unexhibited works. Paint is applied across these big canvases using a palette knife. The knife is put to flesh, continually hacking at the paint, trying to force a lucky outcome. Using this energetic style, the artist exposes tensions while maintaining a geometric structure.
Four years ago the artist started to experiment with painting portraits. This also coincides with the rise of Facebook, which opened a new chapter in the culture of portraiture and heated the debates about identity, community, self-representation and so on. His subjects are all people he knows and got to know even better through the process of painting—where he contemplated and reflected on their deeper realities while spending long hours confronted by their portrait’s gaze.
The gloom of the times coupled with the pollution of Tehran, has left its mark on people’s faces. A generation shunned from the society at large, and eventually disenchanted by its own youth. Perhaps these people crave to be recognized and confronted across these vast canvases for the individuals they are. Even the tubes of paint have journeyed through a web of sanctions and color is scooped off the palette with an uneasy conscience.