The Iranian Rebel Women of Soheila Sokhanvari, Shira Wolfe, δημοσίευση στο Artland Magazine [21/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
“I hope that visitors will revel in the opportunity to learn about the lives of these formidable women, who gave up everything to pursue their creativity.”
The recent killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by the morality police in Gasht-e Ershad, Iran, sparked nationwide protests against the life-threatening religious rule imposing strict norms on women’s attire and personal lives. These brave protests, led mostly by young women, have resulted in worldwide solidarity, anger, and more tragic murders of teenage girls, young women, but also young men, who are speaking out loudly against the stifling regime. The politically-charged paintings of Iranian artist Soheila Sokhanvari, currently on view at the Barbican Centre in London in the solo exhibition Rebel Rebel (running through 26 February 2023), speak to these times loud and clear, depicting many brave, rebellious women and feminist icons of Iran before and during the 1979 revolution, hair uncovered, bold, and on fire.
Soheila Sokhanvari – A Story Stuck in 1978
Artist Soheila Sokhanvari was born in the city of Shiraz in Iran and left to study in the UK in 1978, a year before the 1979 Iranian Revolution. She remained in the UK ever since and only returned to Iran twice. As such, she considers her story stuck in 1978, and continuously returns to that pre-1979 period in her work. Sokhanvari has a fascination with painting glamorous Iranian women, portraits of Iran’s female stars who were at the center of popular culture in Iran before the revolution. After the 1979 revolution, many of these women were forced into exile or made to abandon their art, pushed more and more into silence and submission.
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