Immortal Mirror Aref Montazeri
Immortal Mirror by Aref Montazeri
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Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai is holding Immortal Mirror, a solo show by Iranian sculptor Aref Montazeri, who unveils the mirror’s role as a time capsule. On view until the 20th of September, 2024, the exhibition explores the layers of mirrors and their intricate relationship with viewers, challenging perceptions.

Montazeri presents an innovative mirror made using a chemical process which mimics the effects of time, proposing a notion that declares “The image in the mirror is immortal”. This handcrafted art piece expresses the materiality of mirrors. A simple reflective surface turns into a complex plane. Drawing inspiration from the humble triangle, the artist adds texture, oxidation, and complexity to the mirror’s original structure. Thus, the 2D triangle becomes a mesmerising interplay of curved sides. Adorned with mirrors emitting an aged and mysterious aura, the work produces a fresh and thought-provoking image of the audience.

Aref Montazeri, Immortal Mirror 4. Oxidised Mirror, polymer, plexiglass. 200 x 200 cm.
Edition: 3+AP

The show allows the visitors to delve into three temporal dimensions. One is invited to uncover the past in the mirror’s aged layers, examine present forms, and imagine a future with immortalised images amid oxidised layers. This interplay of past, present, and future encourages introspection and deeper self-exploration.

About the artist

Aref Montazeri (b. 1986, Tehran, Iran) started his training while working with renowned Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian from 2009 to 2015. At her studio, he learnt traditional techniques of mirror art from prominent Iranian artisans. With Farmanfarmaian, the artist co-produced more than 60 sculptures; many of them were displayed in esteemed institutions (the Guggenheim, Wiels Museum, Haines Gallery, and The Third Line). Montazeri also worked at Parviz Tanavoli’s Studio (Tehran) from 2012 to 2014.

Aref Montazeri, Immortal Mirror (installation view). Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, 2024.

Approaching mirror art unconventionally, Montazeri’s practice involves numerous mirror cuts and thorough attention to detail. His designs are based on three criteria: Narrative, Material, and Technique. According to his words, the artist is led by a principle “The mirror follows narrative”: he chooses materialism over ornamentalism and resilience of design over buildability. Apart from mirrors, he also employs other materials to create his engrossing art pieces. These include bronze, stainless steel, mother of pearl, Swarovski crystals, carborundum, plexiglass, aluminium, acrylic, and wood. Moreover, Montazeri has developed a new custom-made polymer that he uses to create base structures for his works.

Aref Montazeri, Immortal Mirror (installation view). Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, 2024.

Montazeri has exhibited his creations in several shows which include Tales under the Gate (Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, 2023); Art Dubai (Dubai, 2023 and 2021); Mirror (a solo show at Leila Heller, Dubai, 2021); Shara Art Fair (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2021); Art Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, 2021); Mirror 00 (a solo show at the Iran Pavilion, World Expo, 2020); and Abu Dhabi Virtual Art Fair (2020). From 2018 to 2020, Montazeri was an artist-in-residence in Beaulieu-sur-mer (France); collaborating with the Maleki Collection, he produced three significant sculptures: EMBRACE, MIRROR 11, and PARADOX. The artist has also undertaken an art residency at TUIC (Tehran Urban Innovation Centre) (2016 – 2018).

To get more information about Immortal Mirror, please visit the show’s official web page.

You might also be interested in looking at Tarabot, an immersive architectural pavilion in Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park (Dubai).