After a successful opening in September with an exhibition by Nicky Nodjoumi, the Taymour Grahne Gallery recently opened a show by Iranian painter, musician and performance artist Reza Derakshani. The paintings in "My Wicked Persian Carpet” blend traditional Persian rug ornamentation with political references in the form of dark, apocalyptic imagery. Derakshani's work deals with themes of cultural identity, life and death, faith and fear, and other contrasting ideas.

After returning to Iran after decades away, the artist was disappointed in the "home" that awaited him. The art he created then became the "My Wicked Persian Carpet." Derakshani says this of his work and his country: “I’ve long tried to steer clear of politics, but it’s always been there in the background, and I see the Persian carpet as a symbol of Iran itself. It is something that Persians are proud of, a traditional art that can be absolutely magnificent, yet perhaps we hide behind these traditional symbols. We have huge problems in Iran which we need to face.” As for the skulls, Derakshani says, "by adding glitter, in a way, it makes these skulls brings them to life and turns them into a celebration, an affirmation of life.”

"My Wicked Persian Carpet" opened on October 29 and will show through December 3. For more information, visit the Taymour Grahne Gallery site.

RELATED: Iranian Artist Nicky Nodjoumi First to Show at New Taymour Grahne Gallery in New York City

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