Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Leila Heller Gallery , Shiva Ahmadi, February 21 - March 23, 2013


Leila Heller Gallery 



Shiva Ahmadi
Apocalyptic Playland

February 21 - March 23, 2013


Shiva Ahmadi, Lotus, 2013, Watercolor, ink and acrylic on Aquaboard, 60 x 120 in / 152.4 x 304.8 cm


Opening Reception
Thursday, February 21, 6 - 8 pm
568 West 25th Street

Shiva Ahmadi’s third solo exhibition will be on view at Leila Heller Gallery in Chelsea at 568 West 25th Street from February 21 – March 23, 2013.  Apocalyptic Playland will feature new paintings, works on paper, and will also include the artist’s fist foray into video work. A catalogue with an essay by Heather Ecker, Head of Curatorial Affairs of the Aga Khan Museum, will accompany the exhibition.

Although on the surface Ahmadi’s works appear vibrant, playful, and even mythical, they nevertheless deal very much with the harsher sides of reality. Through thick layers of generously spread opaque reds and purples, Ahmadi’s delicate final touches consist of ornate floral patterns painstakingly applied with metallic gold ink. By creating such a lush world that is at once beautiful and captivating, the artist ultimately depicts corruption and through it, the superficial sugar-coating of its destabilizing consequences. 

Ahmadi depicts elephants and camels that float on candy-like clutter, yet when the viewer looks closer, one realizes that the clutters of candy are also cluster bombs, bullets and other projectiles.  The elements that once seemed so beautiful and playful soon suggest a much darker reality.

Playfully selective with her referencing of miniature painting, Ahmadi has created an allegorical realm where faceless tyrants and religious authorities sit on ornate gilded thrones while subservient minions bow to them. Some of the tyrants are the guardians of nuclear reactors, which float on clouds. The minions are often festive buffoons, monkeys and dogs: They kiss feet; they juggle grenades and might even be restrained by leashes.  







Leila Heller Gallery
568 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001
(Tel) 212 249 7695

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