Group Exhibition
Mona Motaharian
Shahrzad Jahan
Parinaz Shafizade
Opening: July 28, 2017

O Gallery is pleased to announce the second edition of 3 on 3, a valuable platform for emerging artists. Consisting of 2 exhibitions, each of these 2-week shows during the summer, showcase the work of 3 artists. Each selected artist will present a solo body of work at one of the gallery’s three floors. The criteria for selection were talent, originality, promise and the ability to benefit from a smaller space allocated to their work.
The chosen artists for the 2017 edition all present works on paper.
Presenting the works of young and emerging artists has been O Gallery’s desire from the beginning and with the selection of works on paper (something that has been of great focus at O), we hope to achieve a larger audience and benefit a larger crowd of artists through our 3 on 3 program.

On the top floor, O Gallery presents “Mind as a Trap,” a collection of works on paper by Parinaz Shafizadeh (b. 1980 Isfahan).
Dreams (desires), encourage the association of old images (memories). It is the tools that come to the rescue of the painter – on 46th street* – turned down from everywhere.
*The painter lives on 46th street in Anoushiravan, Isfahan and she probably likes Salinger.

In the middle floor, “Conformity,” a new collection of works on paper by Mona Motaharian (b. 1985 Tehran) is showcased.
This series mainly portrays the intra-group relationships of a society that tends to eliminate differences for a better sense of fitting in and intimacy. What I see in my relationship with others is a type of “conformity” that is shaped by acceptable social interactions. The drive of society to unify is so much stronger than individual identity that in a psychological process, we move towards acceptance through self-censorship.
This is manifested by paying close attention to photos saved in our phones, tablets and in older samples, family albums that have all been the main source of inspiration for the works on display. From faces masked with smiles and hospitality to acceptance of certain customs in family gatherings, they all look alike. This, the “conformity” is further emphasized in my work by the made up faces painted in white. The paleness of the faces signifies the process of homogeneity and the dissolution of the individual in the group. The deliberate white drip from one face to another represents the disguised line of social relations in the paintings. The red noses and the clown make ups, represented by specific color arrangements, are also an exaggerated form of dissolution and our never ending desire to fit in. The backgrounds are mostly done in dark colors, with the figures floating within the space created.
The technique of using acrylic on handmade paper goes hand in hand with the concept. The fast-drying feature of the paint and its absorption by the paper has an implied correlation to the dissolution of the subjects in groups. And submission is such a natural dynamic that we simply submit to that which entails the society in its collectiveness.

Last but not least, in the basement, “Foliage,” a collection of works on paper by Shahrzad Jahan (b. 1994 Brigand) is presented.
From the yard’s snapdragon flowers in Zahedan to the Jasmine flower pot in our balcony, I’ve always been intrigued by plants for apartments.
I think this fascination started with my father’s interest in plants and his every day encounter with them. Grafting, planting, pruning and searching about different plants and ultimately weekly stops to the greenhouse and trying to create a balcony filled with plants, gradually became a matter of importance.
Looking at the plants at different times of day as seasons changed, created a constantly changing image in my head.
This series started with a small sketchbook in the spring of 2016 where I started to experience with the different techniques, colors and frames in my portrayal of the subject. What’s on display is the result of a friendship with plants that have become my companion in the years passed.