SEPTEMBER 2006 –
The Islamic Revolution of 1979 enabled fruit seller Khosrow Hassanzadeh to become an artist: the chaos created new opportunities. His compelling work, created since the 1980s, contains elements from the art of Japanese prints, the French Nabis artists, art nouveau and Andy Warhol.
Summary exhibition Iranian artist Khosrow Hassanzadeh
SEPTEMBER 2006 –
The Islamic Revolution of 1979 enabled fruit seller Khosrow Hassanzadeh (1953) to become an artist: the chaos created new opportunities. His compelling work, created since the 1980s, contains elements from the art of Japanese prints, the French Nabis artists, art nouveau and Andy Warhol. Hassanzadeh’s use of colour and black-and-white is exactly the opposite of what is commonly seen in Iran. War scenes are customarily colourful; chadors are black. Hassanzadeh makes his own choices in terms of content, often meaning that his work can only be seen outside of Iran.
With its Inside Iran exposition, the Tropenmuseum displays series with harsh titles, such as War, Prostitutes and Terrorist. Hassanzadeh made the sixteen enormous portraits of prostitutes in response to a series of murders by a religious fanatic. Because the media devoted so little attention to the murders, he decided to make a tribute to the victims. The title Terrorist appears to be randomly attached to a series of colourful family portraits in which each subject is profiled as if s/he were a terrorist.
Is he a political messenger? “No. My work is a response to the world, to life and to man. I have only one idea about art and artistry: first be honest with yourself. Only then can I try to make people happier by allowing them to see the world through new eyes.”
Hassanzadeh connects the West and the Orient. He has surprised his home country with Western shapes, techniques and concepts. His work is included in prestigious Western collections. Six years after his first European exposition (1999, London), he wrote Modern Orientalism. “My article was intended to warn Western intellectuals of a lazy type of modern Orientalism.” Khosrow Hassanzadeh bounces the ball right back, giving readers a chance to determine what type of Orientalist they are.
The exhibition Inside Iran by Khosrow Hassanzadeh is on display from 22 September through 7 January 2007 in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.
Faneshe / Prostitutes, 2002 Painting on silk-screen print
Police file photos of prostitutes that were published in the daily papers and served a serial killer, a self-declared “avenger” who had murdered a number of women, as orientation in the choice of his victims* url | IntArtData Artists
~*Isn’t this an odd way to describe a killer’s ‘mo’? I’m guessing the killer after his arrest was found to have newspaper clippings of prostitutes pasted on his wall, or in a scrapbook…like some kind of anti-porn. Maybe he was schizophrenic and/or confessed that his newspaper photos “talked” to him. In American tv crime dramas the scene of the stalker’s room complete with a shrine of photos of his imagined sweetheart is a cliche. Yeah we get it; he’s a dangerously obsessed fan, spurned boy-friend or pervert. But I don’t think the script-writers are suggesting that without those disturbing photos he’ld be any less of a stalker. In American crime fiction photo-obsessions confirm everyone’s suspicions, they’re not seen as instrumental in the commission of crimes. (Except for images of children of course.) Many men have porn stashes. Some collect very specific sorts of images. Most men are not violent towards the objects of their obsessions.
Born 1963 in Iran he studied painting at the University in Tehran. From 1991 he has participated in many solo and group exhibitions both in Iran and abroad, amongst which are: Terrorist, Silk Road Gallery in Tehran, Pahlavan, Janine Rubeiz Gallery in Beirut, Abortion, an installation with Bita Fayyazi at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Life, War & Art, Diorama Art Gallery in London, Word into Art : Artists of the Modern Middle East at The British Museum, London, Musulmanes, musulmans, un monde fait de tous les mondes, La Villette, Paris, Far Near Distance, Contemporary Iranian Artists, Berlin, Haft ,Ville de Boulogne – Billancourt Museum, France, Iranian Contemporary Art at Christie’s, London and Iranian Contemporary Art at the Barbican Center, London.
His works are in both private and public collections : British Museum, London, World Bank,Washington DC, USA and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts.
Another major artist on the Iranian scene is Khorsrow Hassanzadeh, a former revolutionary guard who took part in the war against Iraq. His multi-layered, mixed media works blend photography, collage, and paint, and have already been shown at numerous international exhibitions. Like Men, in gouache on gold paper and collage (est. €4,100-5,000), they recompose Iranian reality as a diary of the artist’s life, and exude a humane, poetic feel.