CARBON 12 is pleased to present our booth at the 16th edition of Abu Dhabi Art, creating a dialogue between the works of Amir Khojasteh, Michael Sailstorfer, and Sarah Almehairi. The interchange is one that sifts through layers of symbolism within pop culture trends, fashion, and intimate stories found in our everyday surroundings.
Each of the artists in their process-based practices explores ideas and themes that are ever-relevant in their and our immediate environments. While Khojasteh plays with politically charged motifs that are strategically tied into pop cultural ideologies, Sailstorfer investigates industrial materials and has a playful approach to their employment throughout his works. On the other hand, Almehairi delves into particular ecosystems found within the ground each of us walks on every day, creating a firsthand account of these experiences in a pedantic manner.
Amir Khojasteh (b.1988, Iran) depicts fantastical imagery and portraits through playing with concepts of fear and the fear-maker. Mainly drawing inspiration from his confrontation with the political climate of the Middle East, and more specifically Iran, Khojasteh creates a dialogue with how these events have an impact on people’s everyday lives. Engaging in a delicate balance to touch on themes of violence and power, dictatorship and sacredness of fear, Khojasteh uses dark humor and allegory, while simultaneously employing an expressive painterly style, to indicate references to art history, popular culture, and his personal life in his works.
Furthering the investigation of pop culture through a means of fashion and industrial materials, Michael Sailstorfer’s (b. 1979, Germany) works are a playful and mischievous exploration into how these materials that surround us can extract all perceptions of their physical limitations in largely installation-based works. Sailstorfer’s Sunglasses #3, as part of the Heavy Eyes series, delves into themes of fashion and beauty quite literally; these tired, although decorated “eyes”, are mostly disguised beneath these stylized sunglasses. The sculptural works are a direct link to how contemporary trends within these industries are realized through the use of sharp, angular forms and corners.
By engaging with geometric forms, Sarah Almehairi (b. 1998, UAE) extracts and defines a structural etymology read time and time again to suggest a form other than its own – a map, a sentence, a puzzle piece. Her integral investigation unfolds a dialogue between themes of materiality, systems & interrelations, memory, and language through an intuitive and poetic examination of narrative and abstraction. Almehairi’s delicate and meticulous works are a direct physical translation of her intimate ephemeral interaction with the ground as its own ecosystem - a way for the artist to build on a specific narrative with her surroundings. Exploring a variety of materials, such as painting, collage, wood, and works on paper, these intimate stories get told and retold to the point of near redundancy, where they become iterations in and of themselves.
With works shown exclusively at the Abu Dhabi Art booth, each artist has translated their particular experiences in a relative manner to which each individual that interacts with their works can unearth a specific emotion, reaction, or introspection. Through a diverse range of media and techniques – from Khojasteh’s expressive painterly quality to Sailtstorfer’s experimental use of industrial materials to Almehairi’s intricate approach to contemplation – each component presents a sophisticated conception of the artists’ respective themes and motifs.