Burning House Amir Khojasteh
Living in a Burning House by Amir Khojasteh
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The CARBON12 gallery in Dubai presents Living in a Burning House, a solo show by Iranian artist Amir Khojasteh that displays his bold oil paintings and bronze sculptures produced from 2023 to 2024. One will have the opportunity to explore this exhibition until the 28th of May, 2024.

During the tumultuous protests in Iran, Khojasteh sought solace within his studio. Reflecting on this difficult period, he describes a kind of revelation as if someone had lifted a veil to expose a concealed truth. In his studio, the artist encountered a creature, isolated and weathered by time: a figure resembling the divs (supernatural entities in Persian mythology). Rather than confronting the trauma, he faced the absurdity and emptiness of the revealed reality.

Amir Khojasteh, Living in a Burning House (installation view). CARBON12, Dubai, 2024.

Khojasteh crafted head sculptures of divs that symbolise triumph over adversity. These works embody a desire for failure and success, tangible representations of the artist’s conquest over his inner demons. Meanwhile, his paintings inspired by art history are populated by life-sized mythical beings, their curved forms echoing motifs from Qajar paintings.

Through his art, Khojasteh encourages his audience to ponder the constant state of “living in a burning house,” where every painting is a reflection of self or comments on the absurdity of existence. Guided by laughter, the artist exposes the contingency, ephemerality, and unreality of the world around him and invites us to find solace and understanding amidst the chaos.

Amir Khojasteh, Living in a Burning House (installation view). CARBON12, Dubai, 2024.

About the artist

Amir Khojasteh (b. 1988, Iran) is a contemporary artist residing in Brussels (Belgium) whose practice involves painting and sculpture. He obtained his BFA in Graphic Design from the Marlik Art University (Noshahr, Iran) in 2011.

Drawing from the political condition of the Middle East (particularly his home country) and the rest of the world, Khojasteh’s work revolves around the concept of fear and fear maker. Interested in the ideas of violence and power, dictatorship and sacredness of fear, he creates fantastic expressive art pieces infused with dark humour which represent these ideas. Some of Khojasteh’s works are grotesque portraits of well-known figures from the art world/history, music, pop culture, or politics (for example, Donald Trump). According to the artist, he attempts to convey his emotions through his works to show simple and mundane yet complicated events in a surreal way to involve or unsettle viewers just for a moment.

Amir Khojasteh, Living in a Burning House (installation view). CARBON12, Dubai, 2024.

Khojasteh has showcased his art pieces in a number of exhibitions such as A Room without a Door (a duo show with Sabrina Mendoza Malavé (DIANA, New York, NY, USA, 2023); Try to Catch The Moon (a solo exhibit at CARBON 12, Dubai, 2021); Bahith (Gazelli Art House, London, UK, 2019); When stung by a bee, Lie down and scream (a solo exhibit at Mohsen Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran, 2016); Running Toward Dreams (sUgAR Gallery, Arkansas, USA, 2016); The 7th annual montakhab – e nasl e no (Ahwaz Museum of Contemporary Art, Ahvaz, Iran, 2013); and others. In 2010, the artist won the 2nd Prize in the Tasvir Estandard competition (Tehran) and received the Iranian Contemporary Art Contest Award (Persbook).

To get more information about Living in a Burning House, please visit the show’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting The Rare But Known Phenomenon, a solo exhibition by Zhivago Duncan which is currently on display at Meem Gallery.