‘Ester’s Children’ art exhibition by Dana Nehdaran
Artist Hatty Pedder visits RIRA gallery event
What: ‘Ester’s Children’ art exhibition by Dana Nehdaran. Where: RIRA Gallery, DIFC. When: January 9.
I flicked through my photos of the event that showcased the hot new collection of work by Dana Nehdaran at the RIRA Gallery. I recalled how, on arrival, I’d spotted sophisticated couturier Rami Al Ali – I had a quick chat with him and wished I could ink him, but remembered I already had. The gallery was full of an elegant, arty crowd and quite a few familiar faces, which always makes it fun.
I was blown away by the large oil-on-canvas monochrome paintings, where Dana had decontextulised old Iranian family portraits to create something incredibly powerful and unique. There was something haunting about the images that kept drawing me in – I think it was the way Dana had removed and blurred some of the faces. I was fascinated to discover that he had subconsciously added and removed faces, and when the work was complete he’d felt a connection so strong to his models that he felt they could have been his ancestors. I wondered if this was why these images carried such a powerful feeling. I watched as the viewers soaked in the surrounding art and really discussed how they were responding to it.
At that moment I spotted gallery CEO and founder Parisa Davarkia. We caught up and decided we must do lunch immediately – well, as soon as possible. I knew I’d found my first inking subject matter.
At the same time a tray of mini cupcakes came along and Parisa and I indulged – they were only little.
Finally after lots of chatting and mingling, I reached the top floor of the gallery. As I looked down and observed all the action below, I quickly snapped it and knew this view would be perfect for my second inking – all sorted.
Just as I was about to leave I said a quick hello to renowned couturier Ezra Santos, who was looking amazing as always. It had been a great evening and, after Christmas in the UK, was a great way to start my blogging again. For more of Hatty’s sketches and blog, see www.hattypedder.com.