Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14th 6-8pm
Arta Gallery is pleased to present two simultaneous exhibitions by Iranian, Montreal-based artists Afshin Harati and Keyvan Mahjoor. ‘Banquet’ by Afshin Harati and ‘Floating Monarchs’ by Keyvan Mahjoor will be on view from November 12th-24th. An opening reception will be held on Thursday the 14th from 6-8pm.
Afshin and Keyvan draw inspiration from traditional concepts and subject matter, juxtaposed against current political and social issues of today. They present such through intricate design elements, derived from the ancient form of calligraphy and true painterly elements of the brush stroke.
Afshin’s acrylic collection Banquet aims to describe the feeling of emptiness that he witnessed upon his return to Iran after living in Canada for almost 20 years. The title Banquet plays on the idea of excess and celebration. Afshin draws from his experience in design, and expresses the spirit of a specific space, even in the absence of a human figure, isolating certain components in the environment allowing the viewer to recreate the context in which those elements exist within.
Keyvan’s Floating Monarchs collection works mainly in ink, creating narrative and lyrical sketches, weaving together human figures, mythical characters and symbolic forms which are embedded with traditional arabesque designs. Historically, the function of calligraphic inscriptions used in Persian paintings and illustrations served both an aesthetic and informative purpose. While the scripts and text in Keyvan Mahjoor’s drawings are incomprehensible, perhaps of greater importance is the manner by which the text has been implemented within the pictorial space and the cavities the words occupy within the framework of the drawings.