Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.

'Sometimes, just a simple "thank you" is enough'

Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.

Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.

 

The Third Line
Al Quoz 3
+9714 341 1367
Dubai
Shukran
March 15-April 21, 2011

Farhad Moshiri returns with a third solo exhibition delivering humor, sarcasm and his ability to detract from social situations, to the more simplified actions of daily life.

For his exhibition at the gallery, Moshiri presents a single new work which continues to simplify his subject through his composition and style within the neo-pop movement. Moshiri experiments with his materials, using cake icing dispensers, Swarovski crystals, and even assortments of kitchen knives to make works that incorporate increasingly textured and sculptural approaches. But it is not just Moshiri’s technique that has earned him the attention that he currently benefits from, rather, it is his mastery of Iranian visual vernacular, as well as his acute awareness of popular culture and art history.

Using often contradicting concepts to the nature of his materials, Farhad’s work pushes materials
beyond their inherent qualities by deconstructing any pre-conceived notions associated with them thus situating them in a new perspective. This leads the viewer to shift their framework of perception and discover new truths about the material, the work and its reception. The dazzling use of "candy" colours and hybrid materials of Moshiri’s recent works — paintings and installations — immediately capture the eye. Alternating between minimalism and mannerism, they are part to an Iranian artistic tradition of calligraphy and miniature, as well as Western pop imagery. Moshiri plays with the codes of modernism while developing a flamboyant iconography.

His use of embroidery, beads and Swarovski crystals continues to demonstrate his ability to go beyond the confines of pure aestheticism with playful irreverence. In his usual subdued impertinence, and utilizing a repertoire of mediums and tools, Moshiri subtly questions the so called benefits of such a world view.

This exhibition is a larger than life installation directly on the gallery wall. Numerous knives, in a variety of colored handles, shapes and sizes spell out the word "Shukran," the Arabic word for "Thank You." When asked to elaborate on the idea of his show, "Sometimes, just a simple ‘thank you’ is enough," he says.

Through both over the top ornamentation and tongue in cheek pop culture, Farhad Moshiri complicates viewing mechanisms between Eastern and Western approaches to aesthetics, as well as the power dynamics inherent within those mechanisms. Operating as a visual pun, Moshiri’s art often takes up activities of normality portrayed with an underlying tone of cynicism. Beyond his seemingly attractive works lies a more painful and more complex reality that is imbued with nostalgia and irony.

Farhad Moshiri was born in Shiraz and currently lives in Tehran, Iran. He studied art and filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Moshiri received international acclaim with his jar series — paintings of large jars and bowls embellished with highly textured calligraphy and abdjad, an ancient Arabic clerical code, correlating letters and numerals.

Moshiri was the first Iranian artist to achieve the one million dollar mark at auction (Eshgh, which means "Love" in Farsi, is an embroidered work spelling out the word in Swarovski crystals and glitter on canvas with acrylic). His work is exhibited extensively throughout both the Middle East and internationally in prominent group exhibitions such as Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2009) and Hope!, Palais des Arts, Paris, France (2010). Moshiri has held more than 20 solo exhibitions in prestigious avenues and international art fairs. His work is part of collections at large art institutions such as the British Museum, UK and Virginia Museum of Fine Art, USA as well as the Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE.

Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.

Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.

Farhad Moshiri, Shukran, Installation detail.