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 Farhad Moshiri  (1963 - )

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Lived/Active: California / Iran, Islamic Republic of      Known for: impasto pop art painting and sculpture

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Ad Code: 1
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Eshgh (Love)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
In his Candy Store series, Farhad Moshiri applies brightly coloured "pies" of acrylic, extruded through an icing sugar tube, to highly kitsch paintings on canvas, giving the works an almost edible appearance.  Here the image of a fashionable girl in a headscarf speaking intently into her mobile phone is constructed entirely of these multi-coloured almost fluorescent "pies".  Superimposed as it is upon an underlying painted multi-tiered cake executed in a polished, cartoon-like way, the dual imagery provides an impression of that which is sugar-coated, artificial and saccarhine to the extreme.

Moshiri makes sense of this juxtaposition by judicious use of material and theme- that of which the girl is made resembling closely that which decorates the cake.  Displaying his characteristic wit, by pairing these two sets of imagery, instantly recognizable yet rarely seen together, Moshiri creates an implied yet ambiguous sense of narrative and social comment.

Farhad Moshiri's fascination with Pop Art is well-documented, channeling far-ranging influences in his work from Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and more recently Jeff Koons.  Much like the work of Warhol and Koons, Moshiri's Mobile Talker extols the gratification of human aspiration and desire through the elevation of consumer goods.  Moshiri, using this visual vocabulary brings his own cultural baggage and gleeful sense of play to his Iranian subjects including history, identity and contemporary culture.

After thirteen years working and studying in Los Angeles, Moshiri settled in Tehran in the early 1990s, drawn by the blossoming of artistic expression epitomized by the international success of Iranian cinema.  Upon his return, the artist was interested in observing the new social classes that had emerged in post-revolutionary Iran and who flourished following a new climate of measured tolerance and democracy.

The dynamic and seemingly contradictory forces presented by a conservative establishment and a media-savvy younger generation has provided Moshiri with the raw materials to produce art that successfully broaches cultural and aesthetic biases.

The meeting of East and West, of tradition and modernity characterizes Moshiri's practice and now forms the matrix of Tehran's burgeoning art scene. Yet, whilst artists working in Iran today are not entirely free to make direct political, social, or religious critiques without risking outright censorship, Moshiri has found the means to use these restrictions for his own ends.  For this reason, Moshiri, like many of his peers, values allusion, ambiguity, and subtlety-an under-the-radar approach that verifies, among other things, that pop culture has long since infiltrated borders in Iran just as surely as it has everywhere else in the world.
Christie's Auction House

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