Following his studies at the CalArts in California in the 1990s, the Iranian born artist Farhad Moshiri explored multi-faceted techniques and engaged with different artistic genres. Inventive in his use of mediums and iconography, Farhad Moshiri is considered today as one of the most important and influential contemporary artists from the region and his works are featured in major private and public collections worldwide.
Since 2001, the artist manipulates the canvas in an attempt to create a unique crackled ancient-like effect on the surface of his works. By repeatedly folding and crushing the canvas, he allows the many layers of dried pigments to flake and crackle and lastly consolidates the surface with a transparent glue to avoid any further damage. By doing so, Farhad Moshiri aspires to create a vibrant yet delicate contemporary work rooted in his cultural heritage. He explores his signature innovative technique through the depiction of ancient ceramic jars and symbolic renditions of numbers and signs, which according to the artist, each contain magical meanings and codes.
The present work is an outstanding example from the Numeral series with a perfectly achieved crackled effect and is one of the earliest to ever appear at auction. Truly unique in its composition and combination of earthy colours, the large canvas reveals different layers of pigments and is decorated with dispersed calligraphic and miniaturised numbers. Although the artist uses his flaking technique to add an antique flavour to his stunning composition, the almost graffiti-like appearance of the endlessly repeated numbers adds to its Pop Art nature.
This example subtly melds Eastern and Western concepts. It refers to the artist's fascination with a nostalgic past through a texture reminiscent of unearthed archaeological artifacts, but reveals simultaneously the artist's inspiration by contemporary aesthetics. Through a delicate rendition of simple forms and a subtle use of colours, the present work painted in 2001 is an exceptional early example of
Farhad Moshiri's artistic exploration and is undeniably a collector's piece.