Year One: VGO Anniversary Exhibition
On view December 17, 2021 – January 28, 2022
Thank you so much for viewing this exhibition. Regardless if you are new to our page or if you are already familiar with Virtual Gallery Online- we thank you. After 8 exhibitions VGO has worked with many phenomenal artists and has showcased an array of extraordinary work. We are incredibly grateful for the support you provide, if it weren’t for you we wouldn’t be able to host these collaborations. In honor of our first year, we have invited artists (who have previously exhibited in the space) to show new collections of work. Please continue to help us elevate the voices of these artists as they progress through their groundbreaking, artmaking practices and careers.
Learn more about each artist here. If you are interested in purchasing any of the work in the show please contact the artists directly.
“My abstract paintings are an interpretation of the relationship between people and place. A growing consciousness of the world has driven me to explore the use of art as tool to advocate change. The end goal being a healthier, more empathetic planet. I map routes, collect pigments from my travels and create watercolour from the earth. Paint foraged from the ground results in a deep forged connection between my art and the natural world. I want people to feel akin to my work, be it through colour, pattern, place or the meaning behind each piece.”
“Through my life in Iran and now my identity as a SWANA woman living in the United States, my work offers a commentary on sociopolitical issues. I create images, sculptures, and installations that illustrate my struggles related to my cultural identity and how it is perceived in my new home. Creating from a personal place, I am able to craft a space to share my experience with the viewer.
Incorporating different forms and materials, I talk about subject matters that have deeply affected my life and many others. Censorship from my youth in Iran manifests itself into images from art history that are obscured by Persian calligraphy and geometric patterns prevalent in Islamic architecture. Often, the viewer is invited to participate in the act of censorship, while they themselves are faced with censored material. Through objects made from different materials such as cast iron, fabric, ceramic, light, and shadow, I address the violation of women’s rights in Iran such as mandatory hijab. Each material brings its own cultural and conceptual significance in relation to the piece.
Utilizing text to pay homage to the history of hiding critical commentary in Persian poetry and visual arts, my work employs politically-charged writings such as news articles, propaganda, or feminist poetry. The writings are subsequently transformed into patterns using the smooth curves of Persian calligraphy. While Persian text is associated with fear and terror in the current political climate of the Western world, these patterns take over the space to confront the viewer.”
“I am using destruction as a creative tool to symbolize loss and the search for meaning. I work with soft materials such as canvas, rope, paper, and wood because they are fragile and easily scarred, like the human body. Through tearing, cutting, and burning, I begin to destroy the material in a similar way one might compose an artwork. The process of burning is central in my practice because I am drawn to the way it transforms the material to a point where it is physically and chemically impossible to return to its original state. The material is forever changed. This can be likened to the psychological effects of a traumatic event or a tragic loss.
My work often contrasts minimal compositions and neutral color schemes with high tonal contrast and violent interventions to show both the effects of trauma and loss and the desire to return to stillness. I find human’s desire to find meaning in life, especially in dark places, the most endearing quality of our species. In a world of suffering, we are often able to find reasons to continue living and ways to make living meaningful. As a person with depression and anxiety, I cannot always access meaningful moments of happiness. The ability to find meaning in moments of deep sadness is critical in an increasingly depressed, anxious, and isolated world. I find the practice of making meaning out of tragedy, trauma, and loss to be a bold and daring actualization of humanity.”