Many artists find inspiration in painful experiences. Yet there are only a handful who have the strength to display them to the public. Rising Tehran-based artist Afshin Pirhashemi is one of the latter. His latest collection, entitled ‘The Wrong Women’, explores the dark, deviant and often under-represented side of women in contemporary Iranian society.
The almost violent, comic-like works shed light on the personal life of the 39-year-old artist, namely his divorce from his wife of 15 years in 2012. ‘In two works I used fantasy elements to express the theme better, but it’s not a usual routine of my work,’ he says.
So how does he deal with such controversial subject matter in a conservative society? He explains it’s a case of what they don’t know won’t hurt them. ‘As long as I don’t show my works in Iran, they cannot provoke me, just like a woman who takes her scarf off when she leaves the country,’ says Pirhashemi.
The artworks incorporate symbols of the duality of Iranian society. Pirhashemi says the three-piece ‘Lonely’ (pictured below) is particularly telling: the left panel depicts a property with an open gate, the central panel a stern female figure and the third a solitary Doberman Pinscher – perhaps a symbolic representation of himself. Here, he explains more about his works.
Exhibition: ‘The Wrong Women’ until April 24 at Ayyam Gallery, Gate Village 3, DIFC (04 439 2395).
Artist: Afshin Pirhashemi.
Price range: From Dhs165,000.