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Amiryani exhibit, Discreet Depravities, opens at Marfa bookstore

December 6th, 2012 under Arts

By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA

MARFA – An opening reception for “Discreet Depravities,” new work by local artist Maryam Amiryani, will be held from 6-8pm this evening at the Marfa Book Company.

Maryam Amiryani

The show features a collection of oil paintings recreating cover art from books, 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl records, and postcards painted to scale.

Amiryani earned a Master’s degree in painting from the Art College of Design, New York Academy. Originally pursuing graphic design, she said she believed the shift to digital techniques took out the human element.

Best known for her traditional still-life paintings that have been exhibited in New York and London venues, Amiryani is looking to challenge and rethink what people think about the genre and, in the process, reinvent herself as an artist. Her need to go against convention and embrace subversion made itself apparent after a painting, featuring an item that is usually found hidden in women’s sock drawers was turned down for exhibition.

Finding the impersonal nature of traditional still-life painting stifling her creativity, Amiryani sought to create a body of autobiographical work after leaving her representation behind. The two-year long journey led to the upcoming exhibition.

Maryam Amiryani painting

Each painting represents a different aspect of Amiryani’s life, such as a pocketbook-sized cover of a Koran and a portrait of Che Guevara, showing her Muslim heritage and how revolution changed her life after having to leave her native Iran as rebels escalated the civil war against the Shah in 1978.

A self-proclaimed “closet punk,” she tackles iconic album covers from the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Fugazi, and Rage Against the Machine, as well as art from old blues records.

Discrete Depravities will be on display in the Marfa Book Company’s gallery until Sunday, January 13.

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