SETAREH is pleased to present the first exhibition of the artist Soraya Sharghi in Europe.
In her large-format paintings Sharghi depicts a mythology of the 21st century. Young women are staged in the role of a new type of heroine, drawing from the visual worlds of ancient Europe and oriental tales. A traditional iconography, hitherto with masculine connotations, experiences its refiguration through the female body. These new heroines make it possible to reflect on archaic-utopian matriarchy in a contemporary context.
Sharghi precisely traces the theme of this socio-political statement of emancipation through a rewriting of history: Old heroes are replaced here by new subjects. They are portrayed like goddesses who transcend themselves and their entire surroundings and rule over them in harmony with flora and fauna. The motifs and detailed friezes depicted in her works are based on memories of Sharghi's childhood fairy tales, which she translates into her own universal language. Representations of Persian miniature painting, together with Japanese anime and contemporary literature, are also central to her inspiration. The conception of the paintings is inspired by the technique of the 'Superflat', which may have been influenced by her longstanding assistance of Takashi Murakami. From this experience, Sharghi developed a very precise and highly topical painting technique, which she combines with screen printing, gold leaf, plastic elements on canvas and 'Khātam', an ancient Persian inlay technique.
Soraya Sharghi studied painting in Tehran and San Francisco. She lives and works in New York. She has received numerous awards and participated in various artist residencies, including the dMFA grant from the San Francisco Art Institute and the Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Sharghi's work has been exhibited worldwide at institutions, such as the CICA Contemporary Museum (Czong Institute for Contemporary Art) in Korea, Today Art Museum in China, MOAH Museum in Los Angeles, Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, Andrea Schwartz Gallery and SOMArts in San Francisco, Aaran Gallery, Mah Gallery and Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran, Iran. Most recently, Sharghi exhibited at the Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai.