“FIRE OF JOY”
FARHAD MOSHIRI, “FIRE OF JOY”
Galerie Perrotin is proud to present the solo show by the Iranian artist Farhad
Moshiri, “ Fire of Joy “ from 23 June to 28 July 2012. After twelve years in Los
Angeles, where he completed his training at the California Institute of the Arts,
Farhad Moshiri now lives and works in Tehran.
Inspired by Pop Art, he has developed a remarkable and hybrid visual lan-
guage that draws at once from popular Iranian and Western cultures: “The
Iranians are searching for their identity. Depending on their mood, they lean
towards the East or the West. Iran is undergoing an inevitable phenomenon
that complicates, confounds and diversifies traditions. This is why I am just as
inspired by the mall or the bazaar as I am by the ornamentation aesthetic that
belongs to Iranian culture.”
In the exhibition “Fire of Joy”, the artist continues to draw upon the traditional
“feminine” technique of bead embroidery for its ornamental qualities, which he
combines with thick layers of acrylic and gold leaf. He is here playing upon
the concept of “happiness”, which for him leaves greater place for sarcasm
Here Iranian craftsmanship and pop culture merge or often confront each
other with irony by using as much the advertising aesthetics for housewives
of the 1950’s (“Curl”) as the popular western icons of comics (“Uncaged”,
“Breath”, etc.) In a country that is mistrustful of representation, Moshiri, like
a collector or antique hunter, lifts all kinds of images from daily life such as
emblems of kitsch, censored photos, childish motifs and western advertising.
“I like to uncover things that have no artistic pretention, that have been created
by others and strive to recondition them in the form of works of art.”
In “Anatomy of a Woman 2”, for example, an icon of Persian tradition is treated
like an anatomical image. In “Anonymous Man” a face covered with coloured
circles refers to the fuzzy faces of censorship and in “God” the word repeated
infinitely on extremely coloured and sparkling backgrounds such as luminous
signs functions like a slogan. Through these effects of juxtaposition, stere-
otypes and sacred or taboo references (the female body, censorship, God),
Moshiri’s language reveals his powerful dissidence defined in relation with
other things in a playful, offbeat manner.
In one of his installations Moshiri collected a thousand key-fobs that form the
phrase “See God in Everyone” on one wall and on another, a multitude of knives
of different sizes and colours are stuck along with 21 European portraits gath-
ered by Farhad Moshiri from the last century to write the word “Quiet”.
In his installations Moshiri uses the tradition of ready made by gathering found
objects, an artistic practice that is entirely ignored in Iran, making use of oxy-
moron to reveal the ambiguity of a country that is ceaselessly transforming itself.