This magnificent painting is arguably one of the most beautiful of Farhad Moshiri's jars to come to public auction. With its delicate peach and gold surface, and the white calligraphic inscription that melts into the surface, this particular jar painting has an exquisite lightness that is lost in some of Moshiri's more austere representations of the Sassanian urn.
In his monumental jar paintings, Farhad Moshiri depicts iconic pots inspired by bottles, bowls, and jars discovered by archaeologists in the 6000 year old site of Susa. His jars are variously influenced by the amphorae of the pre-Islamic period, namely Sassanian remains, and by the thirteenth-century Seljuk potters in Persia. Taking inspiration from the mission of the 75th Exploitation Task Force to retrieve looted ancient artefacts in Iraq, Moshiri relocates the potted riches of his own home-country. Farhad Moshiri masterfully recreates the minimal shapes, smooth contours and monochrome colours of Persia's long-forgotten ancient pots so that his painted urns, by and large, resemble the naturally glazed and unglazed stoneware of the day. Moshiri captures the preciousness and fragility of these old vessels in the delicately cracked surfaces of his painted ones; he meticulously achieves the effect of a realistic craquelure by folding over his canvases and crushing them, then stabilising them with a transparent glue to prevent further losses.
Rather than being ornamented with lines from classical Persian poems or with verses from the Qur'an as tradition dictates, Moshiri marries these ancient vessels with lyrics from Iranian pop music, with the names of popular snacks and drinks, and with Tehranese vernacular in a clever visual pun that indicates the erosion of ancient traditions and the rise of pop-culture.
In this case the jar is inscribed with the words from a love song that reads: "Nagoo ke kheyli dire, Eshghat narafte az yad". Translating as "Do not say it is too late, I have not forgotten [my] love for you" from the lyrics of a popular song.
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