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Q&A: Hossein Khosrojerdi’s first U.S. solo show opens at Tara Gallery

originally posted on: Los Angeles Times by Deborah Vankin
September 20, 2014

Thran-born Hossein Khosrojerdi has enjoyed a more than 30-year career as a prominent visual artist. He represented Iran during its debut at the 2003 Venice Biennale (Iran’s first time participating in the contemporary art event after the Islamic Revolution) and two years prior his digital painting, “Gaze,” won the grand prize at the international Sharjah Biennial.

But the Iranian expatriate, who’s currently living in self-imposed exile in London, has never had a solo show in the U.S. — until now.

On Saturday night, Tara Gallery in Santa Monica, the nonprofit gallery arm of the Los Angeles-based American Foundation for Contemporary Iranian Art, will debut “Redefining Home,” a mix of digital works and abstract paintings by Khosrojerdi.

The artist won’t be in attendance at the opening, but he spoke to Culture Monster about his journey from Iran to the UK as well as the work that came out of it.

When did you leave Iran and why?
I left Iran in 2009 because my environment was too closed and I wanted to enter a more open society. I had an active role in the green movement and I knew I would be in trouble. Plus the fact that before Ahmadinejad’s first term, there was more freedom for the growth of visual arts, but under his regime, it was extremely closed.

How did shifting your surroundings from Iran to the UK affect your work, making it, as you say, “more fluid and less genre-specific”?
When you live in a closed environment, your view is limited and when you expand your view in a more open environment, you can think more open. It was as if I passed through a civilization tunnel and this made me aware of a larger world; I learned a more global language.

Read full interview at the Los Angles Times

Photo: Hossein Khosrojerdi’s digital painting on canvas “Panjareh” (2003). (Courtesy Tara Gallery)

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