Wet Dog: Farzan Sadjadi | Solo Exhibition

19 June - 9 September 2012

Farzan Sadjadi (born 1977 in Iran) translates the anodyne glimpses of life into dramatic compositions. His experience in the lost village of “Mar” located in central Iran; a place mostly abandoned by its inhabitants due to harsh living conditions and scarcity of water; allowed him to create a rich body of work inspired by the daily struggles of a place trapped in isolation and lost in time. By deliberately putting himself into this hostile environment, Sadjadi’s senses became sharpened and the subjects focused; in his own words: “When life is routine, even mundane events gain significance.”


Wet dogs and dry land, dead ends and isolation: far away from the glamorous centers of the art world, this is one of the very rare moments where a truly unique, almost solipsistic artistic vision is coming into existence. Being deeply connected with the painterly traditions, going back as far as Goya, and having an almost obsessive desire for perfection regarding the medium itself, Sadjadi is able to isolate his subject in a surgical manner. At the end of the day, dogs are dogs, snow is snow, but there is only one way to paint a blizzard: full frontal violence, blinding your eyes, and clogging your lungs.


The duality of life is an underlying theme, of which we are reminded in an epic form. Nothing is ever as it seems; survival is compromised; life is compromised; survival is life but a “not so simple life”. What lies beneath is exposed by Sadjadi, the only way it could... through his art. The works are indeed contemporary yet with a painterly approach evoking memories of masters such as Goya, with the omnipresent dogs as a central figure in many of the works, and a Kafkaesque view of the daily life in this village.


Natural selection, no calculation or even empathy. Sadjadi’s paintings are brutal and honest, but at the same time their freezed-frame aesthetic emanates a very distinctive calmness, like the eerie silence after a detonation or the adrenaline fueled awareness of a wild animal about to attack. It seems the painter’s brush becomes a magic wand, making the clock tick slower, freezing time, longing for this peculiar moment just before the curtains drop.


Farzan Sadjadi is a contemporary Iranian artist living and working in Tehran and Mar. He was recognized internationally in 2008 upon joining Carbon 12; showing in various group exhibitions alongside established artists such as Michael Sailstorfer, Erwin Olaf, Rui Chafes, Ralf Ziervogel, Markus Oehlen, Katherine Bernhardt, and Sara Rahbar. His first international solo exhibition, “Between a rock and a hard place”, was held in January 2010 at Carbon 12 and was well received by fellow artists, collectors, art lovers, and the press, earning him  a critical acclaim.


His works are currently in the following collections: 

Salsali Private Museum

Farook Foundation