Solo exhibition of Mohammad Eskandari
Opening at Aaran Projects on 23rd February 2018
The painterly narrative of Mohammad Eskandari is always laden with symbolism. In the new set of works that include life size portraits of his friends, it is the figures that become the symbol; the symbol of a brave generation that was born right after the revolution. Jumping, shouting, standing firm; confidently reaching to touch the sky all the while defying gravity of the situation and the hardship they have had to live with. Boxed in these canvases are a past that is unresolved and a future that is as uncertain as it can be. The figures in these paintings trace the hopes and dreams of generations of Iranians that have struggled to bring order to their lives, an objective that as time goes by seems more like an illusion. But illusion is as true as a truth, even if it can only express partial or fractured truth.
This is the brave face of Iran; the fallen and the raised, in circular runs, time after time, one can almost hear them singing our beloved songs of freedom and resistance; generations of disillusioned Persians but not the defeated.
In his amazing three-meter length canvas two different generations pass through the gates of “Azadi Tower” (Liberty Tower), as if they are being baptized under its doom, right beneath the majestic Alborz mountain range in Tehran, three symbols of city of Tehran, -heart of the country- come together to create a breath taking, awe inspiring narration. And the little boy who is saddened and who is frustrated, but he will rise up, as he ought to because For darkness to exist, there must be light.
The regular irregularity of our lives, the pain of Iran, and its illusionary dimensions are the undertone of these paintings. Mohammad Eskandari’s soulful and dexterous practice and his ability in depicting ecstasy and agony is exemplary. He has chosen to celebrate and salute his generation and like many of his compatriots he pushes the boundaries in his everlasting search for “spring”, fluctuating in permanent disorder and chaos but always insisting on hope.
We are constantly reminded of the fate of our legendry bird: The Phoenix who is believed to possess the knowledge of all times, from ashes she rises to create wonderment, she plunges in to flames to be purified, to rise again, every time stronger, every time mightier.