Vahid Chamani

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Born in Tehran in 1984, he lives and works in Iran. At 32, he's considered by Artprice as one of the top five promising artists of the Middle East. Already presented in Iran, his home country, in the US, London, Dubaï and elsewhere, his meticulous and refined work combines different influences and techniques so as to bring an unique eye on the contradictions of the iranian society.

"My work on the whole talks about Iran's present cultural situation which is disturbed by deep contrats between tradition and modernism. We have somehow turned away from our traditional culture but at the same time been left behind by modernism. We have distanced ourselves from our beliefs and now stand far from them to be able to join the global stream of modern cultures but it semms like we have failed in reaching both of them. Maybe this is because we are doubtful of this liberation and don't want to separate from our past. This has out us in some kind of cultural gap where we can't find our true place in western modernism. I try to show this gap in my works, my dark or even colored backgrounds show a theme of having no place and time, where people are doubtful of their identity and worried for their future. 

Some figures and faces are show with two differents sides which show their stressed minds. Some eyes are blind and some show disappointment with traces of scars they have on their hearts and souls, few have hopes.

In some others I have used ornaments like earrings and necklaces with shiny faces on pretty figures who although have put on a lot of makeup still have their traditional dresses on, a sign of their inner want for returning to past cultures and in spite of that, trying to keep up with new trends of fashion, in order to hide their fear of being called backwards. They have made a false identity for themselves and a world of self deceit. My figures are never who they appear, they have are acting all the time, trying to show off and sometimes it looks like they pity themselves and are trying to be self-consoling.

I use both oil and ink. Ink is a medium of traditional Iranian painting and oil a more modern medium. They clash in my works but oil always wins. I use traditional clothing belonging to Ghajar and Sassani dynasties or different periods or make them look old and ancient. These are used in modern spaces with modern lighting and western glazing mixed with Iranian traditional sign and icons. They both exist beside each other. Is this true in the real world? No, I think we're only imagining, or hallucinating. I have chosen the title Amino Acids for all my works (...) it is the fundamental element of human body cells and all other creatures, we're all made from a common core but with different forms. (...) I have followed the same concept, my works have a common core but have different forms and presentations."

 Solo exhibitions

2016 : « Amino Acids », Galerie Lazarew, Paris
2015: « Amino Acids », Naar Gallery, Tehran
2013: « Amino Acids », Naar Gallery, Tehran
2008: « Amino Acids », Naar Gallery, Tehran
2007: « Amino Acids », Homa Art Gallery, Tehran
2005: Honar Gallery, Tehran 

Group shows (selection)

2014:
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Lattuada Gallery, Milan
Pallfyho Palac, Bratislava
Willemsen Gallery, Amsterdam

2013: Canvas Art Gallery, New-York
2011 : The Armory Show, New-York
2010 : Christie's auction, Dubai, EUA

2009:
Canvas Art Gallery, New-York
Royal College of Art, London
Basement Gallery, Dubaï

2007: Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
2006: Honar Gallery, Tehran

Collections

Museum of Contemporary Art of Tehran
Imam Ali Art Museum, Tehran
Iranian Artist House, Tehran

Awards

 

2008 : Winner of the special prize, the 2nd international award of monotheistic religions (Illustration), Tehran
2007 : Winner of the special prize, the 3rd Youth Art Festival, Tehran