TEHRAN. (Iranart) – Denny Dimin Gallery is displaying a collection of paintings by Amir H.Fallah in an exhibition named“Better a Cruel Truth Than a Comfortable Delusion".
In past work, Fallah has explored the traditional conventions of portraiture while masking his subjects’ physical characteristics. All of his work begins with ideas of portraiture, but his aim is taking portraiture’s history and expanding on it, manipulating it, distorting it.
The artist now turns his gaze inward, with a specific purpose and audience in mind.
“In this body of work, I am creating paintings based around life lessons, warnings, and allegorical stories that I want to pass onto my 5-year-old son,” Fallah told Forbes.com. “I realized that these life lessons embodied my personal experiences, background, and history in a profound way and described me better than any photograph or painting of my likeness ever could. In that sense, they are truly self-portraits of me.”
See for yourself now through February 20 at Denny Dimin Gallery in Tribeca, New York during Fallah’s new exhibition “Better a Cruel Truth Than a Comfortable Delusion.”
Inspired by the children’s books he reads to his son before bed, Fallah’s new self-portraits examine how value systems are taught to children. Drawing on source material and imagery from a wide array of cultures, time periods, and aesthetic styles, Fallah creates painted collages ripe with meaning.
Tackling issues of racism, abuses of power, greed, xenophobia, and climate change, these paintings are some of Fallah’s most political works to date. He considers them an expansive how-to manual for his son about moral values.
An Iranian-American artist based in Los Angeles, Fallah (b. 1979), and his parents came to the United States in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Fallah is best known for richly detailed portraits of people whose families and identities were similarly formed by immigration, assimilation, and otherness.
Fallah planned much of this work prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and completed it over the tumultuous course of 2020. His paintings’ immediacy serves a reminder that the issues which have violently cleaved American over the past year—political extremism, white supremacy, immigration, culture wars, and policing—long predate 2020.