The Tell-Tale Tart, an exhibition of sculptures by Iranian artist Shirin Fakhim, will be on view at LTMH Gallery (from February 25th-March 29th, 2011) in New York.
The series is Fakhim’s first-ever solo show; she depicts the streetwalkers of Tehran, often driven to their trade by poverty or abusive domestic situations.
Exposing the hypocrisy of the sex industry with both a serious and humorous sensitivity, the new life-size assemblages are created of ready-made traditional terra cotta pots of various shapes and scales that are used as the body. The pots are then “dressed” with fabrics, wigs, jazzy high heel boots and different accessories bought from the public markets, second hand shops, and the baazaar.
Some of the life-sized sculptures are even dressed in the artist’s own clothes.
While colorful on the outside, one work from the series, Untitled 8, 2010 (shown above), has been painted entirely black inside and it appears that the woman is trying to pull herself out of the pot, and her own misery.
As Bakhtiari writes in the catalogue, “Almost all her characters lack hands, symbolizing social disability. The current series of sculptures have also lost their lower limbs symbolizing social restrictions. Literally, Shirin’s women cannot stand on their own. She is conveying the opinion that women in one way or another are kept as mistresses, dependant on men in a male dominated society. Shirin Fakhim’s body of work is an interpretation of her own personal life experience and observations. Married and divorced at a very young age, Shirin’s struggles with life and society came early and her bouts of depression and drug use complicated matters further.”
Shirin Fakhim was born in Tehran in 1973 and is a self-taught artist. She lives and works in Tehran, Iran: Her work has been exhibited in New York, London, Rome, Lille and Dubai, and is represented in the Charles Saatchi Collection, UK and the Devi Art Foundation, India.
* On view concurrently in the LTMH Project Space will be a new video painting installation The Mist, 2011 by Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi.