Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Street Art/High Art

Yesterday morning I came across this blog, Iran Graffiti. Doing street art in Iran is a pretty high risk endeavor, let alone any politically motivated art at all, which makes the site and these artists particularly compelling. This Wired article on rogue filmmaking gives some insight into how artists are finding ways to create their work around the country's strict censorship laws.

The bottom photo above, the stencil of the eyes, reminded me of an artist whose work I'm always impressed by, Iranian-born Shirin Neshat. She came to the U.S. in the 1970's to go to art school and wasn't able to return to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. When she did finally return to Iran in 1990, she found a very different place than the Iran she had left. In her video and photography work, she explores the role of women in Islamic society while working through her own issues of identity and displacement. Her work is always powerful and always moving. Two photos above by Shirin Neshat.
(The little boy in the second photo looks like he's holding a dagger when you squint your eyes a little.)

So for the past few days, I've been hovering between the work I need to do and searching for more information about the history of art and politics in Iran, which is greater motivation to get my work done.
The Meeting of Prince Humay and Princess Humayun.
Miniature from a manuscript of the Khamseh of Khwaju Kirmani.
Persian (Herat), about 1430

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