In Worlds Apart, Amir H. Fallah’s immigrant subjects trek the globe to share their unique narratives.
Dio Horia gallery is excited to announce Amir H. Fallah’s solo exhibition Worlds Apart in Mykonos. The exhibition Worlds Apart includes paintings and works on paper from the artist’s series that explore the diverse immigrant community living in America. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Greece and the culmination of his two-week long residency at Dio Horia in August 2019. The exhibition opens on August 23 at 20:00, in the presence of the artist. Since 2017, Iranian-American artist Amir H. Fallah has worked on a series of paintings of mutli-racial and immigrant families who have made America their home. Though not directly political, Fallah’s work is a reaction to the current political climate, examining what it means to be American today where issues of White Nationalism and Islamophobia have been exasperated by the Trump administration. Fallah’s technique deconstructs the concept of art historical portraiture by allowing objects, and not figures, to tell the narrative of the subject. He starts by visiting his subjects, learning their stories and taking in their surroundings. It’s an intimate process of exploring the objects, tapestries and symbols that are significant to the subject of the painting. The process is a kind of interview, where he unearths the hidden meanings of these objects and collages them to create a portrait that tells the subject’s unique immigrant story. Rather than depicting his subjects’ likenesses, he veils their faces and in the end the final works are symbolic collages of conceptual and formal elements that describe the subjects’ identities, commenting on the generational experiences of movement, trauma, hope and celebration. Drawing inspiration from Islamic art, western graffiti, Dutch and Flemish Golden Age and others, Fallah’s approach to portraiture is a remix of elements that have appeared throughout Art History into the modern age. In doing so, his work possesses a hybridity that reflects his own background as an Iranian- American immigrant straddling cultures. Drawing from his Iranian roots, the influence of Persian miniatures is seen throughout Fallah’s work in the decorative borders, the push and pull of flatness and depth, and the framed edges of the paintings. Much like a DJ samples music across genres, Fallah mixes imagery from a cross section of cultural and historical references. Through this, he creates maximalist and socially engaging work that explores race and identity in modern America. In Amir Fallah’s exhibition Worlds Apart, Persian rugs, heirloom jewelry and collaged photographs stand as mementos of previous lives that were carried over into the immigrant's new experiences in America. Working in Mykonos and continuing this series of works in Greece, a very small country far away from America that is experiencing a similar socio-economic turmoil, Fallah’s work examines and comments on the humane aspects of mobility in our global society.