Iranian, b. 1986
Lives and works in Baltimore, MD
Having recently completed his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Taha Heydari uses his minutely detailed brushwork to reveal and comment on the issues of racial identity, prejudice, and propoganda in the United States and the Middle East. Particularly of interest to Heydari are the ways in which the seductive power of media imagery is being used to shape perceptions and outcomes in the regions.
Heydari’s striking, large-scale canvases reflect the artist’s ongoing interest in the power of images and the role of the spectator in the stagecraft of both politics and terror. Throughout the work, there is an emphasis on historic moments and current events that highlight the complex relationships between observer and image, viewer and viewed.
He begins each new painting by culling from his growing archive of source material, gleaned from research in libraries and on the Internet, but these images are fragmented and combined until they evoke a mood, rather than a narrative. The beauty of Heydari’s paintings invites closer inspection, which yields an array of ominous associations.
His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, NY (2015) and the Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, IR (2011 and 2010), and has been featured in group exhibitions at venues that include the Touch Gallery, Cambridge, MA (2014); Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, NL (2013); the Mah Mehr Art Gallery, Tehran, IR (2012); the De Winkelhaak Gallery, Antwerp, BE (2012); the 1x1 Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2012); Frameless Gallery, London, UK (2011); the Freies Museum, Berlin, DE (2011); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, IR (2009). Heydari received his BFA from the Art University of Tehran and an MFA from the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art.