In Full Glory, 2006
Oil and collage on canvas, 58 x 43 cm / 23 x 17 inches
Lightning, Thunder, Brimstone and Fire
Kamrooz Aram is an Iranian artist who lives and works in New York, this is his first solo show in London.
Aram's visual vocabulary is from a variety of Eastern and Western sources such as, Renaissance painting, Persian carpets, video game graphics, Shiite religious posters, and imagery found in advertisements. He aims not to create a direct East-West dualism, but rather to use these sources as an image bank from which he makes paintings that blur boundaries and question the use of icons and symbols in contemporary cultures. He likens this process to the making of early video games such as "Super Mario Bros", whereimages, graphics and characters are continually recycled.
The paintings in "Lightning, Thunder, Brimstone and Fire" explore themes found in the American national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 was originally a poem titled "The Battle of Fort McHenry" and was later set to the melody of the old British drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven", resulting in a national anthem that is at once patriotic and carnivalesque. The imagery in the poem glorifies and romantizes the battle with fantastic visual effects, romantic descriptions of light, and constant references to the sublime.
The drawings in the show are part of a new series, "Revolutionary Dreams". The title for this series comes from the title of a song and record called "Revolutionary Dream" by the reggae musician Pablo Moses. In the song he sings of a dream of an idealised revolutionary battle. The drawings deal with the romanticisation and idealisation of revolution and revolutionary causes, from the seriousness of the Islamic revolution and the Black Power movement to the mildness of the psychedelic counter culture movement.
Aram currently has his first solo museum show at MASS MoCA, USA where he was also commissioned to make a 100 ft wall drawing.
Exhibition: 4 May - 4 June 2006
Gallery hours: Thu-Sat 11am - 6pm, Sun noon - 6pm, otherwise by appointment
242 Cambridge Heath Road,
UK-London E2 9DA
Telephone +44 020 8980 2662
Fax +44 020 8980 0028