For the third anniversary, Haleh Gallery features for the first time the works of the Iranian artists Shahram Karimi and Afsoon in the exhibition ” Roots”. The source of inspiration and point of departure of Shahram Karimi and Afsoon’s artistic works can be located in their origin, their homeland Iran.Roots” can be read as a metaphor for the origin of life, homeland and cultural identity. Questions regarding the relationship between identity and homeland are particularly important for both artists, since Shahram Karimi and Afsoon are both living abroad. The dimension of homeland and the circumstances of migration are the impetus for their artworks: collages consisting of motifs of memories, relocation and imagination creating poetical visual worlds of their artistic roots.

In Shahram Karimi’s (*1957 Shiraz, Iran) artwork, the motif of relocation and homelessness becomes particularly apparent. Detached from time and space, his figures appear to be lost and isolated through floral patterns on the fabrics. Memories of his original homeland are recalled through the citation of Persian pictorial tradition and Persian scripture. Past, present and future are combined and transformed into poetic imagination.

Within her series Fairytale Icons the artist Afsoon (*1962, Iran) portrays Iranian celebrities. These Icons of the Iranian cultural history are deeply rooted in the collective pictorial memory of Iran. Afsoon creates for each representative diverse worlds of motives, where she explores within the artistic expression of collage, facts and myths evolving around them. Pop-Art aesthetics combined with cellular structures serve for visualization of memory and narration.  The famous singer Googoosh, for example, represents Iranian pop-culture. The portrait of Mohammad Mossadegh is not only reminiscent of the only ever democratically elected Prime Minister, but also tells about his political goals, like the nationalization of the Iranian oil.

Living within the circumstances of migration and between different cultures creates creative space and artistic impetus for the works of Shahram Karimi and Afsoon. The artistic medium of collage serves for both artists as a sketchy depiction of the visualization of their homeland’s memories. Their artistic productions, which consist of fragments of memories of their homeland, provide their displaced selves a metaphorical return to their roots.


Shahram Karimi (*1957, Shiraz, Iran) lives and works in Germany, Iran and New York. Shahram Karimi employs multimedial means of artistic expression, painting, installation, video, etc.
Film Production design  in collaboration with Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari (among others).
Various solo- and group exhibitions (selection): Magic of Persia, Dubai (2012), Art Cologne, Art Dubai, Art Paris.

Afsoon (*1961, Iran) lives and works in London. She obtained her degree in Media and Communication from Fresno State University (United States). Various solo and group exhibitions (selection): “Once upon a Time”, 127 Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco (2013); “Icons of the 4 corners”, Xerxes Gallery, London (2011); “I Ran with Iran”, Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris, (2012); AYYAM Auction, Dubai, UAE, (2012); Christies Auction, Dubai, UAE, (2012).

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