Afshin Pirhashemi (Iranian, b. 1974)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more Property from an Important Private Collection, Switzerland
Afshin Pirhashemi (Iranian, b. 1974)

No. 2

Details
Afshin Pirhashemi (Iranian, b. 1974)
No. 2
signed in Farsi, indistinctly signed and titled 'No.2' (lower right)
oil on canvas
39 3/8 x 39 3/8in. (100 x 100cm.)
Painted in 2011
Provenance
Private collection, Switzerland (by whom acquired directly from the artist).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
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Lot Essay

Contemporary artist Afshin Pirhashemi explores the idiosyncrasies of modern day Iran through his re-contextualisation of Neo-Expressionism. His photorealistic portraits of Iranian women, which are created through a meticulous process rendering the greatest possible level of verisimilitude, are a psychosocial analysis of gendered bodies and discourses. A feminist work, Pirhashemi's portrait of an Iranian woman questions the classical European portrayal of the female body and identity as it defies both the European and Iranian standards of beauty, while also engaging simultaneously with gothic fantasy. The pictured woman is almost entirely covered, except for her eyes; instead of overemphasising her eyes with glamorous eye makeup, Pirhashemi chooses to outline the eyes with smudged kohl to create a gothic aesthetic; her forehead is blemished by small numbers and texts in Farsi. The artist's exclusive use of black and white helps clarify his message, while also alluding to the grey shades within the message. Pirhashemi's intentionally dark composition creates a provocative image through an amalgamation of western technique with Iranian references and symbols. This striking work brings gender relations in Iran to the forefront, an issue that is gaining momentum in the contemporary society.

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