I decided that if I could not collect jars anymore I would paint them instead…Their form was so perfect. Their simplicity, their modernity, they aged so beautifully.’ (Farhad Moshiri quoted in D. Nasser-Khadivi, F. Rahim Ismail (eds.), Farhad Moshiri, vol.1, Milan 2016, p. 23).
Acclaimed Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri has experimented various mediums throughout his successful career and has constantly created innovative techniques to express his interpretation of the contemporary world. Collecting jars and old doors as a hobby with his wife during the late 1990’s, Moshiri credits an abundance of time, an interest in his nation’s artistic heritage and a shared passion with his archaeologist spouse as key stimuli to his hobby. Fascinated with their ability to capture the passage of time, Moshiri embarked on his infamous series of Jars and Bowls that captures this passion spectacularly.
Christie's is delighted to offer the present lot, which incorporates the essence and origin of his subject matter; just as traditional potters would do, Moshiri interacts in his own way by folding, crushing and manipulating his canvas in a unique manner. What results is an in-depth luminosity and dimensionality which highlights the essence of Iranian tradition in a contemporary and attractive context. The craquelures of the iridescent, phosphorescent paint give the jar its rich texture and modern aspect, yet preserve the authenticity and legitimacy of the piece. Simultaneously this cracked paint gives the object an overall delicate and fragile look, thus reinforcing its connection to life and its vulnerable nature. The combination of the flamboyant colour and state of the jar enforces a juxtaposition of the ancient with splendour and richness.
Although many argue that Moshiri’s jars are solemnly inspired by the artefacts the artist admires, others believe that his views on the piece stretch much further. What both parties inevitably agree upon is the purely aesthetic aspect of the piece. Individuals who are more likely to push their train of thought, may find that because the artist has chosen to depict the object and strip it from serving its purpose, has depicted the jar for its attributes and characteristics rather for the jar itself. Moshiri’s jar possesses a numerous amount of characteristics; however, the heavy handed curves inevitably dominate the piece. The artist may have purposely depicted the jar in such a manner to reminisce of an older trend that he has rejuvenated in his own distinctive and contemporary fashion.