Now the Dove and the Leopard Wrestle at Five in the Afternoon: Hesam Rahmanian

14 January - 28 February 2013

Hesam Rahmanian's new explorations in collage revitalize leftover scraps of dried acrylic from his palettes and paint pots. His diptychs and triptychs similarly vivify the improbable by uniting disembodied or headless animals with miscellaneous objects. The resulting hybrids, such as pliers chirping from a crow's body, appear animate despite being incomplete suggestions formed of peculiar contradictions.


Rahmanian's latest works show a tranquil, spontaneous and visually reductive creative course, wherein animals, objects, and humans emerge intuitively from unexpected, often grim, realities to dwell in an enigmatic world.


Hesam Rahmanian focuses primarily on painting, occasionally incorporating neon, as well as tackling conceptual projects made entirely of playing dice and a pack of playing cards illustrated with figures from the Iranian regimes. He has developed a practice that inherently integrates his personal obsessions and inspirations, from which he reveals an emotively tinged distancing, with questions of power structures and wider existentialism.


Rahmanian was born in the USA in 1980 to Iranian parents. He moved to Iran in 1982, and upon completing his studies in fine art in Tehran in 1999, moved to India in 2000 for a year. He then lived in California until 2009, where he studied applied art and design. He has experienced, and embraced, a series of drastic culture shocks, with the most recent being his move to Dubai to join his childhood friends Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh. The three artists live together in a permanent collaborative process of creativity, of which the exhibition 'I Put It There You Name It' in March 2012 gave a flicker of insight. Their continuous collaborative evolution that equates to a collective performance in which they are intertwined completely runs alongside the creation of deeply individual, introspective work.


Rahmanian's works reveal his own private universe; a fantastical matrix of life inhabited by animals, people and assorted functional objects such as bicycles, watering cans, umbrellas, and pliers. The inanimate objects' roles along with those of the human and animal forms are visually displaced in Rahmanian's realm, and yet the suggestion beyond that which is literally painted is of a return to earth, with the possibility of resuscitation. The encounters of unexpected realities from the artist's personal obsessions on unfamiliar planes resonate with the Surrealist approach to creating new life.


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