Shirin Moayya. The kaleidoscopic language of visio...

Shirin Moayya. The kaleidoscopic language of vision

“Painting is related to both art and life. I try to work in the space between art and life”. 
Robert Rauschenberg

There are works of art capable of encapsulating an idea of ​​the world in themselves and materializing before our eyes with lucid coherence the mysterious intersection between external reality and our internal perceptions, by staring for a moment in the form of an image this elusive stream of pulsions and reactions. Since we do not see things as they are, but as we are, art is the most immediate tool through which our representations of existence emerge, even when there are no words to translate them into reasoning or narrative. Art is what can make a solution into an enigma; it is what manages to transform even the banalest aspects of reality into a complicated maze, to reveal the unthinkable cognitive and emotional backgrounds.

Shirin Moayya‘s work focuses on the emotional and spiritual experience of reality, which in the series of paintings Inward Organized (2015-2016) and Human Beings and Forgetfulness (2017-2018) translated into an expressionist pictorial language characterized by a robust chromatic accentuation and a dominant emotional deformation of visual data. The artist avidly absorbs everything she sees and lives. Anything can attract her attention and is always looking for an innovation that expresses itself as a continuous stylistic revolution and a fusion of the most diverse means of expression. If in the aforementioned series of paintings she used to insert newspaper clippings and other illegible papers, which directly transferred characters and events from the contemporary world to the canvas, in the new series entitled Mirror Of Fantasy (2019) she brings together Painting and photography in the same work, putting together images of things, places and people who appear as surrogates of the fragments of reality they have alluded. We could compare these decontextualized snapshots, which give the image an almost sculptural vocation, to the objet trouvé that had been so dear to Marcel Duchamp, of which the Iranian artist dilutes with her delicate sensitivity to the inner emotional nuances.

Each work in this series seems to capture a different small-scale universe. The combination of drawn and photographed figures manifests a labyrinthine vision of the world, crossed by a sort of childhood amazement but at the same time capable of crumbling any certainty and of submitting it to a surgical criticism. The composition is animated by an unstable balance system that combines elements that are very distant from each other, capable of triggering disturbing connections that short-circuit the familiar and the unknown, the logical and the absurd, duration, and transience, illusion and reality, solemnity and irony. Shirin Moayya plays with the difference in scale and sensory perception to provoke an alienating impact that incites viewers to look at reality from a new perspective. The emphasis on the banality of everyday life, animated by curious and contradictory details, when not openly paradoxical, is nourished by the multiple changes of looks with which the artist investigates the most ordinary aspects of life.

The metaphorical journey between parallel universes and Lilliputian panoramas that she proposes in Mirror Of Fantasy conceals a surgical cross-examination of human microcosm, and social macrocosm visualizes its contradictions. Contaminating photography and Painting (always central in her practice), Shirin Moayya seems to seek her strategy to re-discuss the reality in which she lives and contextualizes it from a historical and cultural point of view. These reasons have led her over the years to develop a varied expressive vocabulary, inhabited by images that make up an inexhaustible anthology of mutations, supported by an eclectic use of materials. Her works are a space of interference in which she questions human emotional habits and attitudes through enigmatic montages, whose visionary nature recalls the utopian cinematographic avant-garde of the 1920s, where the various elements of vision are embedded within each other, generating aporias that manage to coexist in a kind of organized chaos. Every movement appears frozen, as in a blocked choreography or a restless spell. The vision is stuck in a bewildered enchantment, crystallized in a windy still image that makes one think of the setting of a lucid dream in which the protagonists cannot cross the exit door. The contradictions of the present physically transform the pictorial plane, which becomes a manuscript in which the composition arises as a metaphor for the complexity of the contemporary cultural, socio-political, and historical narrative.

Shirin Moayya superimposes several layers of images as if they were successive exposures of the same photographic negative, assimilating them to the glazes of a color that seeks its perfection through slow layers of brush strokes. In her works, the presence of everyday life is immortalized for their evocative and representative value, as if they were a precious collection of atmospheres and symbolic suggestions. For this reason, the final result, despite having roots in everyday reality, poetically moves away from it in an attempt to correspond to the deceptions of perception and the changing incarnations of the mental image. For these aspects, the artist’s “other” universe has the rare ability to reconcile a disenchanted gaze on the problems of the present with a new empathic humanism, which approaches life with renewed enthusiasm and with a genuine curiosity for the many forms in which destiny can shape the kaleidoscopic forms of existence.


Shirin Moayya. Amazing From Mirror of Fantasy Mixed Media, Acrylic on Photo, Canvas 2018 - 2019Shirin Moayya, Amazing. From Mirror of Fantasy, mixed media, acrylic on photo, canvas, 2018 – 2019

Shirin Moayya, Good Mood. From Mirror Of Fantasy, mixed media, acrylic on canvas, 2018 – 2019

Shirin Moayya, Route After Death. From Mirror Of Fantasy, mixed media, acrylic on photo, canvas, 2018 – 2019

Shirin Moayya, Limitation. From Mirror Of Fantasy, mixed media, acrylic on photo, canvas, 2018 – 2019

Shirin Moayya, Good Times. From Mirror Of Fantasy, mixed media, acrylic on canvas, 2018 – 2019


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