Art And Culture

3 Decades of Tirafkan Retrospective at IAF

3 Decades of Tirafkan Retrospective at IAF3 Decades of Tirafkan Retrospective at IAF

An exhibition of the late artist Sadegh Tirafkan’s works opened at Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) in Tehran on Friday (June 19).

The exhibition, organized by the artist’s brother Qasem Tirafkan is a retrospective of Sadeq’s career in three decades and showcases close to 80 works, Honaronline reported.

Tirafkan (1965-2013) was an Iranian contemporary artist, deeply influenced by his Iranian heritage - his work was about his roots and identity.

Known for his innovative blending of photography with other artistic media, he was an early proponent of photo-based art in Iran and a prominent international representative of Iranian contemporary art. He adopted a method of “constructed photography” combining photographic images with hints of painting.

While the exploration and use of traditional Iranian imagery is perhaps common among artists today, Tirafkan should be credited as one of the style’s originators.

Choosing historic sites like Persepolis and Susa as his settings and referencing Iranian post-Islamic history - the Ashura ceremony, Iranian ritual champion wrestling, miniature painting and carpet motifs - Tirafkan introduced themes such as traditional identity versus modern identity, notions of the self and the male psyche.

  Book Unveiled

A total of 55 black and white photos, 19 color photos, three collages and two installations are on display. Concurrent with the opening of the exhibition, the book ‘A History for the Future’ which includes a selection of photos by Tirafkan was unveiled for the first time in Iran. The book, published in English, was earlier presented at the Venice Art Biennale 2015.

Born in 1965 to Iranian parents living in Iraq, the rise of Saddam Hussein forced his family’s return to Iran in 1970. He graduated in photography from Tehran Fine Art University in 1989.

Following his 1990 one-man show of portraits at Tehran’s Seyhoun Gallery, an invitation to showcase his works in Paris opened up a career outside Iran, including a brief period in New York in 1997. Interestingly, Tirafkan’s time in the West brought him more deeply in contact with his cultural and aesthetic roots. He participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide.

“My goal is to demonstrate that all people regardless of gender, culture and religion are indeed seeking inner peace and sanctity,” he had once remarked.

Tirafkan passed away in Toronto of brain cancer and is buried adjacent to the Shah Abdol Azim Shrine, in Rey, south of Tehran. His works are in the collections of several museums including the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, British Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The exhibition will run till July 3 at Art Garden, N. Mousavi St., Taleqani Ave.