Open Mind Art Space is pleased to present “Theia Mania”, a solo exhibition featuring mixed media works by Faria Raji.
Faria Raji’s works are at once visceral and ephemeral, evoking the notion that amidst decay and misery the only vision that radiates promise is the figurative form. Rooted in the tradition of photography, his pieces go beyond the photograph; he destroys the surface of the images while selectively applying texture and impasto paint. As individual photos uniquely call for, Raji will mark, burn, score, deface, paint, and modify each print to heighten and clarify its language.
In his most recent grouping of works titled “Theia Mania”, a Greek term meaning "divine madness from the Gods”, Raji utilizes photography and various construction methodologies to create worlds in which naked nymphs inhabit mysterious erotic realms. His artwork lives in a continuum where the dust of love and erotic desire has not yet settled. Raji attempts to immortalize the energy of life — a brief moment of enlightenment experienced at the time of ecstasy which produces a temporary loss of consciousness as every cell fires in unison.
Faria Raji was born in 1972 migrated from a war torn country to Switzerland at the age of eleven, and then to France at age 14. There he was introduced to the conceptual glamour of the French Riviera. Later he moved to Los Angeles in 1990 where he was exposed to American pop culture and the grit of the Sunset Strip. Raji attended the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and was the first student to win a One Show Gold Pencil in advertising. After college, Raji had an extensive career as an award-winning art director, photographer and a college instructor. His work in design garnered him a Grammy nomination. Over the years, he studied under the wing of renowned art director Roland Young, French Lui magazine photographer James Baes, and also world-renowned and legendary fashion photographer Philip Dixon.