Tina Kim Gallery is proud to present Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh: Collaborative Drawings. Though Amer and Farkhondeh have been collaborating artistically and socially for nearly twenty years, this exhibition represents their first joint show in the United States.
Amer and Farkhondeh’s collaborative process is entirely organic in nature. Passing drawings back and forth until each artist is creatively satisfied, Amer’s intricate embroidery alongside Farkhondeh’s more graphic sensibility initiates what is effectively a dialogue of contrasts and associations. While it would seem that the joint effort of two independently active artists with such differing aesthetics might result in cacophony, quite the opposite is true of Amer and Farkhondeh; their work reveals an implicit accord and immerses the viewer into their own world where nature is king, love is finite, and paradox and pleasure seamlessly intertwine.
Influenced by the spontaneity and social irreverence that were inherent to Dadist Automic Writing, this body of works incorporates a wide range of recurring tropes including erotica, Disney characters, Hindu gods, nature, abstract design, conceptual texts and socio-political diatribes. It is through these themes that the artists cultivate their own distinct visual language, providing a lodestar for their viewer while simultaneously urging each to cull his or her own meaning from their discourse.
The works in this exhibition, selected for their adherence to the core elements of each individual artists work, employ a variety of media including acrylic, charcoal, pencil, watercolor, stickers, thread and ink. In one salient example, “Apple Picking for Adults”, Farkhondeh’s interest in nature’s intrinsic repetitiveness and Amer’s fascination with the latent eroticism of the human form play off of each other, resulting in a work that is at once cloyingly innocent and, quite literally, dripping with innuendo.
Built up in layers, this work juxtaposes a pair of amiable Hindu deities and a wide-eyed Disney-esque beauty with the stitched image of a reclining figure in the throes of pleasure. Set against a backdrop of hazily rendered butterflies, flowers and trees, each figure is repeated several times across the surface of the paper, giving the impression that they are all adrift in a singular forest. In the foremost plane, a swath of red watercolor highlights each reclining figure and drips suggestively down the paper towards the beauty’s fingertips as she plucks an apple from a nearby tree. Together, Amer and Farkhondeh demonstrate that drawing remains a potent means of expression while simultaneously pushing its traditional boundaries.
Born in Cairo, Egypt, Amer studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and went on to earn her M.F.A in painting at the Villa Arson in Nice, France. Her solo exhibition “Love Has No End” is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum of Art through October, 2008.
Farkhondeh, who was born and raised in Iran, studied at the University of Tehran and went on to also earn his M.F.A at the Villa Arson in Nice.
In 2007, Amer & Farkhondeh jointly participated in the Singapore Tyler Print Institute Residency program.