London, South Kensington
14 April 2016
Tala Madani (B. 1981)
signed with the artist's initials and dated 'TM 07' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
15 ¾ x 11 7/8in. (40 x 30cm.)
Painted in 2007
Lombard Fried Projects, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
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New York, Lombard Fried Projects, Smoke and Mirrors, 2007.
London, Saatchi Gallery, Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, 2009, no. 88 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Drawing on her Iranian heritage where strict social etiquette creates a division between the sexes, Tala Madani’s cloistered gatherings of men are humorously imagined through an ironic portrayal of girl-culture, emasculated against a backdrop of traditionally female rituals such as sleepovers and spa treatments. In Braided Beard Madani envisions a barber shop as a setting for camped-up erotica in the form of an unsolicited pampering session. This playful distortion of cultural and sexual identity is rendered in lush painterly expressionism and loose, almost comical line drawing, lending it both humanizing innocence and humorous nonchalance. Sporting bright printed fabrics, Madani’s men are segregated from reality into a realm of hyperbolized storytelling and darkly comic allegory.
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