Amir H Fallah
Tehran, Iran. 1979
Amir H. Fallah creates paintings, sculptures, and installations that utilize personal history as an entry point to discuss race, representation, the body, and the memories of cultures and countries left behind. Through this process, the artist’s works employ nuanced and emotive narratives that evoke an inquiry about identity, the immigrant experience, and the history of portraiture.
Fallah interrogates systems of representation embedded in the history of Western art. His ornate environments combine visual vocabularies of painting and collage with elements of installation to deconstruct material modes of identity formation. Portraits of veiled subjects capitalize on ambiguity to skillfully weave fact and fiction, while questioning how to create a portrait without representing the physicality of the sitter. While the stories that surround his subjects are deeply personal and are told through the intimate possessions they hold most dear, his work addresses generational immigrant experiences of movement, trauma, and celebration. Fallah wryly incorporates Western art historical references into paintings formally rooted in the pattern-based visual language of Islamic Art. In doing so, his paintings possess a hybridity that reflects his own background as an Iranian-American immigrant straddling cultures.