Rokni Haerizadeh (Iranian, b. 1978)
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Rokni Haerizadeh (Iranian, b. 1978)

Shomal (Beach at the Caspian)

Details
Rokni Haerizadeh (Iranian, b. 1978)
Shomal (Beach at the Caspian)
titled in Farsi, signed and dated 'Rokni haeri 2008' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas, in two parts
each: 78¾ x 118 1/8in. (200 x 300cm.);
overall: 78¾ x 236¼in. (200 x 600cm.)
Painted in 2008 (2)
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Exhibited
London, Saatchi Gallery, Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, 2009 (illustrated in colour, pp. 48-49).
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Lot Essay

Shomal, meaning North in Farsi, is the name given to the Caspian Sea region where most middle and upper class Iranians spend their holidays and week-ends. A monumental diptych that reinforces the dualities and inequalities of modern day Iran while comically exaggerating the inadequacies of dress code, Shomal (Beach At the Caspian) epitomises Rokni Haerizadeh's sense of satire through a free-flowing rendition of an everyday beach scene on a day of leisure. Undeniably humourous, the present work is evidently a critique of the hypocritical aspects of the contemporary Iranian society, in which men in swimsuits rest and enjoy their day while women covered in black chadors from head to toe prepare the picnics and serve their men.

Both the subject matter and the execution of this painting are typical of Rokni Haerizadeh's signature style, they allude to the grotesque trait of the society while they reveal the long-lasting history of caricature and satire in Iranian aesthetics.

'We look at everything with a sense of humour, when you get too serious about your work, the work gets less serious.' (Rokni Haerizadeh quoted in "Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh Brothers in Exile", in The Economist, (online version), 28 July 2010).

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