Shirin Fakhim: The Tell-Tale Tart

When 25 Feb 2011 - 29 Mar 2011
Where Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery
39 East 78th Street, 3rd floor (at Madison Avenue)
New York, NY 10075
United States
Enquiry 212.249.7695


Shirin Fakhim, Untitled 3,Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and LTMH Gallery, New York

February 25 – March 29, 2011

Mar 29, 6–8 pm: Closing Reception + Curatorial Talk

Press Release:

New York – An exhibition of sculptures by Iranian artist Shirin Fakhim will be on view at LTMH Gallery from February 25 through March 29, 2011. The Tell-Tale Tart is the artist’s first ever solo show. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Ali Bakhtiari, the exhibition runs in conjunction with Art Middle East during 2011 Armory Arts Week (March 3 – 6).

In this series of new life-size sculptural work, Fakhim 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 assemblages are created of readymade 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 bazaar. Some of the life-sized sculptures are even dressed in the artist’s own clothes. While colorful on the outside, one work, Untitled 8 (from the Tell-Tale Tart), 2010, 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. 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. She lives and works in Tehran, Iran.

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