This powerful painting is the first self-portrait to be painted by Ahmad Morshedloo, and is a glimpse into his world, an existentialist work dealing with his actions, thoughts and emotions.
The artist dominates the painting, fulfilling the classic role of the middle-eastern man, the principal player in the game of his life, governing the woman painted three times below him. Yet despite this pyramidal composition and the clear dominance of the masculine figure, there is a sense of anxiety in Morshedloo depicted with one eye blacked out, unseeing, as though blinded. This is in direct contrast to the woman whose face is lovingly rendered and finely modelled, with her frank and challenging gaze. In the upper third of the canvas, framing Morshedloo's head are strange vignettes painted against a yellow ground. To the artist, the colour yellow is the colour of uncertainty, and these sketches reference the sum of his past: his parent's influence, his schooling and his experiences as a child, moments that formed his opinion and his sense of self, moments that seem now to be leading him to a sense of self-doubt.
The narrative is mysterious, but captivating, in this rare self-portrait by one of Iran's most talented living artists.
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