ArtArt Exhibitions

Crafting in a Time of Crisis

Amir Khojasteh’s work at Carbon 12 gallery strikes a chord, with a raw and emotional take.

A Man, Burning #2, Oil on canvas (2023)

During the tumultuous times of an Iranian uprising, artist Amir Khojasteh retreated to his studio, seeking refuge and understanding. “Something had been unveiled,” he reflects. In this time of chaos, Khojasteh persisted, meticulously crafting sculptures of divs – powerful and malevolent entities of Persian mythology that possess various magical abilities. Through their creation, he conquers both physical and metaphorical demons, immortalising his victory and showcasing his deep commitment to craftsmanship. The bronze used in the pieces lends a lustrous surface that interacts dynamically with light, creating a mesmerising visual dance.

Head of Div #11, patinated bronze and wood (2024)

Khojasteh’s paintings resonate with the spontaneity and texture of monotype prints. Intricate white lines, slots or scars infuse the compositions with added vitality. Drawing from art history, life-sized mythical creatures emerge from these curved canvases. The dome form, reminiscent of Qajar-era paintings, accentuates the primal essence and vibrant presence of these divs.

“Living in a burning house” becomes an enduring metaphor. Each painting can be interpreted as a self-portrait or commentary on surreal circumstances. Amidst the haze of ongoing chaos, Khojasteh finds humour in his work, leaving the observer with a paradox of feelings.

Carbon 12 gallery
Figure of Div
#5, Oil on canvas (2024)

Runs until 28 May at Carbon 12 Gallery

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