Straw Dogs

January 26 - February 6 2024

Sara Abbasian

Press Release

O Gallery presents “Straw Dogs”, an exhibition of recent works by Sara Abbasian (b.1982 Tehran).

In ancient China, straw dogs were crafted as ceremonial objects, serving as substitutes for the sacrifice of living dogs. The term is now employed figuratively to refer to anything discarded after use. In Sara Abbasian’s works, dogs represent “nothing.” In this series, alongside her drawings, Sara paints on canvases whose fabric seems to be ripped apart by a violent explosion. These paintings are memorials for war; a commemoration for individuality, which becomes a victim of a “greater” goal in every war and is seemingly “discarded” in Sarah’s drawings with multiple tears and punches.

Sara consistently explores the theme of war in her works, from “Blacks” and “Epidemy” to “White Rose” and “Cluster 5.” She has been depicting the ugliest aspects of war with a hyperrealistic approach. In a world where wars have become commonplace, the adversity and ugliness in Sara's works take on an implicit form, presenting grotesque nightmares as part of real life. With their human-like appearance, Sara’s dogs are represented as symbols of loyalty. They have been named after cannons, tanks, and weapons of important wars of history and together they form an army. They remain loyal to this army until the final moment of destruction, but the owners of this army only worry about their own survival as soon as crisis rears its head.