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Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, b. 1963)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A CORPORATE COLLECTION, UAE
Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, b. 1963)

1597YTA (from the Numbers series)

Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, b. 1963)
1597YTA (from the Numbers series)
signed in Farsi; signed, dated, and numbered ‘Farhad Moshiri 2008 1597YTA’ (on the reverse)
acrylic, oil and glue on canvas
43 1/3 x 70 7/8 (110 x 180cm.)
Executed in 2008
Commissioned by the present owner in 2008.
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Lot Essay

The present two works are stunning examples from Moshiri's Numbers series as the artist pursues his fascination with the Arabic Abjad alphabet, and experiments with different pigments and extensive gold leaf work. He intentionally attributes an aged and worn look to the surface, revealing his interest in archeology, in the excavation process and in the rediscovery of a lost identity. To achieve this lifelike texture, he rolls up, folds and crushes his canvas once the various layers of paint have just about dried, causing the pigment on the surface to flake and crackle. He then consolidates his work with a transparent water-based glue to avoid any further paint loss.

Abjad calligraphy is frequently used to ornate and adorn manuscripts and talismanic garments in Iran and in the Ottoman territories, conferring blessings and protection to the wearer. By spreading this Persian script over the canvas and having it bleed over the edges, Moshiri seems to have magnified a small fragment of these lavish objects and reproduced it onto his canvas. Although the subject and Moshiri's flaking technique contribute to the antique flavour of this series, there is nonetheless a touch of Pop Art rendered by the almost graffiti-like appearance of the numbers and letters, reminiscent of Western Abstract Expressionism. The use of gold leaf is recurrent through Moshiri's works, as it often represents not only today's consumer's society, but also subtly alludes to the fact that for many people, one needs to be wealthy in order to be happy.

Moshiri's sarcastic eye is a witness to his country's history and contemporary society. His works are never an obvious criticism, but are often faintly suggested through the kitsch sphere he creates. Moshiri's Pop Art and fantasy world allow him to surpass the restraints on freedom of expression imposed by Iran's censorship and invite his viewers to choose their own interpretation.

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