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Carbon 12

Carbon 12

Private Gallery
 
"Wet Dog" in The National- article by Chris Lord
 
  Farzan Sadjadi - the painter of anaemic scenes from the undernourished suburbs of Tehran - has turned his sights to another desolation row. This time, Sadjadi headed to the central Iranian village of Mar that, according to Carbon 12, is near-abandoned due to "harsh living conditions and scarcity of water".

Prime territory for an artist whose vision of modern life is something akin to that great Kafkaesque Persian writer of privation, Sadegh Hedayat - warped anxiety, but a little absurd at the same time.

One of the defining things about Sadjadi's works is his use of household paint on canvas. It's what gives his images their stygian gloom and heaviness. Yet, he's improving as a painter, and seems more at ease with being exacting: gone are the unnecessary whips of paint on the canvas or the messy free-form brushstrokes. Instead, Wet Dog shows off a clearer, chillier voice.

Of particular note is Daily Labour, a sort of anti-pastoral image depicting a farmer and his wife working their bitter earth while the wind blows around them. Bent double, the farmer's wife has puckered her face and tries fruitlessly to give life to a clump of stubborn plants.

A group of goats resting among thorns, a dog stretching itself amid a bleached carcass, and then opposing scenes of a snow-filled landscape being watched over by a full moon that has been eclipsed by a passing cat. There's no doubt that a lot of these images feel like skits and sketches - boxer's jabs at the follies of life on the margins. But across these works, we are left with the sensation of a world and its inhabitants slowly disappearing into a deep blizzard, steadily out of reach.
 
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