Turning its gaze to the Near East and to celebrate Women's Day, Dorothy Circus Gallery is proud to present the first UK solo exhibition by renowned Iranian artist Afarin Sajedi. After several successful shows with Dorothy Circus Gallery|ROME and participations in group exhibition, the Iranian artist will introduce the UK public to a new experience of femininity and beauty, highlighting again the features and personalities of her models through emotional brushstrokes and surreal atmospheres.

Inspired by the last work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, the show present a brand new collection of large unique artworks that portray women and that drive forward the themes, the iconographic taste, and the symbolism enclosed in all Afarin Sajedi’s works. The artist will explore through the universal thematics of love, suffering, frustration, and desire, the significance of humanity in relation to the figure of the woman and the construction and deconstruction of its identity within society. With a colourful palette, Afarin Sajedi intelligently addresses the relationship between women and the contemporary society, exploring their feelings and their identity. Her compositions focus on the inner strength of women, but also on the suffering for the burdens to bear. The women’s clown-like make-up style, expressive gaze, parted lips, and blushing cheeks reveal a strong inner conflict between fear and hope. “Women have often told me how much they enjoy using make up because it allows them to wear another face”, Sajedi explains. Her color palette seeks to vivify the intense inner feelings of the women depicted, who hold up in any role and situation they decides to trust themselves into.

Whilst they seem to be submerged into a deep sea of quietness and comfortable silence, deep emotions shine through their misty eyes and the tired faces that the artists depicts in a cathartic action. Sajedi’s enigmatic characters are a universal metaphor for the female condition that goes beyond all the cultural boundaries, and her intense and ironic paintings and characters evoke, at the same time, the elaborated nuances of Shakespeare’ and Lars von Trier’s dramas and Cervantes and Calvino’s surreal adventures.

Afarin Sajedi was born in 1979 in Shiraz, Iran. She studied at the Azad University of Tehran where she received her degree in Graphic Design, and currently lives and works in Tehran. During her childhood Sajedi has demonstrated a great interest and talent in drawing, and thanks to her family, she has been introduced to the Italian Renaissance movement at an early age. This has deeply influenced her style later in life, noticeable in her realistic portraits of gentle ladies resembling Renaissance dames. The artist has been also highly influenced by Heinrich Boll’s Clown and by Gustav Klimt. Sajedi’s creativity, technique and powerful trait ensured her from the start of her career a prominent position in the world of Iranian art.

Among the subjects that she loves to depict, such Japanese inspired figures, by clowns, or theatrical characters, women are at the centre of her production. Afarin Sajedi’s stunning paintings are characterised by a central figure on a plain coloured background, which is often cut by living elements and objects that cross a mystic scenario. Sajedi’s large compositions focus on the inner strength and on the suffering of women. Bizarre forks, fishes, clothes fix tightly those women’s heads to create the most austere and surreal headgears. Sajedi has been featured in many exhibitions and art fairs in Tehran, with Etemad Gallery, which represents her officially in Iran. In 2013, she had her first European solo show in Rome, when she was invited to display her art in the prestigious location of Palazzo Valentini for the exhibition “Inside Her Eyes”. Sajedi’s art has been exhibited alongside the renowned USA based artists Colin Christian and Sas Christian and the Italian artist Francesca Di Nunzio, in a four people show titled “God is her Deejay,” curated by Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Italy, to which a solo exhibition at the same gallery has followed in 2016. In 2015, Sajedi has been invited by La Cité Internationale Des Arts for a threemonth Art Residency in Paris, France. In the same year, her artworks were also featured in a prestigious art fair in the Principality of Monaco. Sajedi is collected by important international VIP, and her works are also part of the prestigious Venetian contemporary art collection Marin