SAMIRA ALIKHANZADEH (Iranian, b. 1967)

 “What began as an obsession with windows and light sources in interiors became the main element in my initial works and has stayed with me to the present. Taking the position of an observer, I created an overlay of window-like openings to the interiors within my composition, and introduced human figures and forms as part of the cold and grey atmosphere within my impression of a society filled with deeply satirical contrasts reflected by my use of blues, purples, and greens. I have since removed the frames and now use the images minimally, printing them directly on the surface and rendering them with my own palette of hues.

“Human figures and forms, mainly those of women and children and brides and grooms, in found photographs render the passage of time as a melancholic truth. They also express the humor found in most old photographs reflected by hair and dress styles of the day: just as our photographs may be found amusing by their viewers in the not too distant future.

“The images I use in my work date to the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s; a period following the banishment of the veil in Iran. By applying mirrors to the surface, I create the viewers’ marked though incomplete presence within the framework of my composition. I thus make a direct connection between the subjects in the past and the viewers in the present. They in turn become a part of the composition and possible descendants of the subjects, looking into the past or, perhaps like me, satisfying their voyeuristic urge to enter the lives and memories of generations gone by.”

Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1967, Alikhanzadeh uses mirror fragments, found photographs, and acrylic paint to experiment with ideas of past and present identities, presence, and perspective.

Selected Collections:

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran