Audio: Farhad Moshiri, The Sky Climber
Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, B. 1963)
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Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, B. 1963)

The Sky Climber

Farhad Moshiri (Iranian, B. 1963)
The Sky Climber
signed, titled and dated '"SKY CLIMBER" Farhad Moshiri 2007' and again in Farsi (on the reverse)
oil, acrylic, glitter and beads on canvas
66 7/8 x 66 7/8in. (170 x 170cm.)
Executed in 2007
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.

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Lot Essay

'My move towards using feminine materials was very intentional. There is happiness in pastel coloured pastries, candles and colourful decorative materials. Suddenly I thought happiness is a more effective vehicle when talking about sadness and violence.'
(Farhad Moshiri in conversation with Jérôme Sans in "Killing me Softly", in L'Officiel Art, Eté 2012, pp. 70-85).

Amidst planets and shooting stars, set on a dark background reminiscing the infinite galaxy, a playful figure whose contour is made of glittering beads is swinging in the skies. The joyful and amusing scenery one discovers with The Sky Climber is characteristic of Farhad Moshiri's oeuvre. When a few years ago, the artist accidently discovered a frosting set in his basement, he used it to create acrylic 'pastries' which he sporadically displayed on the canvas along with decorative elements such as beads and glitter. The colourful ornamentation resulting from his various aesthetic experiences creates a sense of happiness and naïvety, yet behind the apparent playfulness and the candylike starry universe lies Moshiri's faint cynicism about his homeland's history and the contemporary society he lives in. In the artist's own words, his fantasized compositions often have 'a sarcastic note as the punchline' and The Sky Climber is no exception.

The smiling figure in the centre of the composition appears candid and innocent, unaware of what the future may hold. Farhad Moshiri captivates a brief moment and freezes the swinging movement leaving the viewer to envision the child's destiny and liberally interpret the scenery. As in most of his conceptual works, he leaves space for complementary and contradictory readings and awakens the viewer's endless imagination.

Moshiri plays with the kitsch and fuses tradition and modernity in his hyper-conceptual works. In Dadaist fashion, he uses humour as a subversive tool to subtly evoke a broader, perhaps darker reality that can leave a melancholic aftertaste. Through an apparent naïve composition, The Sky Climber is imbued with the artist's observation of present life and hence becomes a metaphor of the unsteadiness and instability of his homeland's contemporary society, in which the sky is the limit. Beyond the shimmering and decorative surface of the work, Farhad Moshiri creates his own hybrid language, between cynicism and playfulness, to discuss both the Iranian and the Western culture.

The Sky Climber is undoubtedly a collector's piece as it combines all features of Farhad Moshiri's acclaimed iconography in an outstanding and flawless work of art.

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