MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2019
Artist StatementI am interested in painting as an encounter between the function of images and our experience of them, and the relationship between observer and image. Each work begins from a source image, gleaned from research in libraries and online. These images are manipulated to approximate pixilation and glitch-like repetitions. I am fascinated by this moment of a glitch, when our experience of an image is interrupted and its physical properties are accentuated, as a visible instance of separation between what an image does, what it is made of, and how it appears. Rather than digitally altering the images beforehand, it is only when painting that I (de)construct the image, allowing for spontaneity and impulse. Reflecting my training in Persian miniature painting, the highly detailed scenes in my work invite close inspection and yield ominous associations.
Having recently completed his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Taha Heydari
works full time in his studio in Baltimore. Originally from Tehran, Iran, Heydari grew up with an
integral relationship to Persian miniature, and trained from the age of twelve in this school of
painting. What he gained from that level of study is apparent in his current work. Taha uses his
minutely detailed paint application to create a surface which appears to be about the addition of
material and image. However, Heydari’s application is much closer to functioning as a method of
concealment. Technology and the media inform his work, and the paintings are compiled from
second-hand images which are brought together on the canvas, speaking to the current all-
consuming image-condition of the digital age.
Heydari’s work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at the Southeastern Center for
Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC (2017) Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2016),
Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, NY (2011) and the Azad Art Gallery, Tehran (2011 and 2010).
Additionally, his work has been featured in various international group exhibitions at the
Chicken Box, Baltimore (2015); The Touch Gallery, Cambridge (2014); Castrum Peregrini,
Amsterdan (2013); The MahMehr Art Gallery, Tehran (2012); the De Winkelhaak Gallery,
Belgium (2012); the 1 x 1 Gallery, Dubai (2012); Frameless Gallery, London (2011); the FA
Gallery (2011); the Freies Museum, Berlin (2011); and the Museum of Contemporary Art,