621 Gallery Presents
an exhibition by Mina Akbari
Opening Reception | May 7th, 2021
Doors Open at 6:00 PM | Talk Starts at 7:00 PM
Exhibition Dates | 05.07.2021 – 05.27.2021
My paintings allude to the political, chaotic, and shocking situations in Iran. The main inspirational resource of my paintings is oriental rugs. In pictorial rugs, characters usually narrate stories from old literature. However, in my “Iran’s Injured Soul” collection, characters are frozen, shocked, and frightened. They are looking outside the paintings, staring at the viewers with bloody eyes, lips, hands, and blue faces, wondering what is going on in the Middle East with all the wars, blood, shootings, and dead bodies. The decorative motifs in my paintings come from the super-stylized, mysterious patterns of oriental rugs. The beautiful decorative patterns are combined with guns, grenades, and war elements. I borrowed these elements from Afghan war rugs. War rugs in Afghanistan showcase the mindset of the weavers about life. For a long time, they have not seen any beauty in their lives. Only war, blood, dead bodies, crying children, and separated families. I would not say I chose rugs as my inspirational resources, they chose me, looked at me, and talked to me. Rugs have been created in Iran and the Middle East for the past 2,500 years. They carry a long history of the area and are part of our identity.
In Iran, we see a chaotic situation in different ways. Forty years ago, the revolution happened and since then a dictatorship runs the country and kills all opponents. These days they do not even fear showing their brutal behaviors and shoot and kill people who are protesting peacefully in the streets. Increasing tension between Iran and the US puts more stress and pressure on all Iranians. As an individual living in the US and representing cultural diversity here, I feel responsible to be a voice for the Iranian people.
I started painting seriously when I moved to America to obtain my master’s in art history four years ago. Far from my country, negative thoughts instilled in me, about me. I was always was told that I have no talent. But now, I feel free and believe in my paintings. I will keep representing the beautiful but injured souls of Iranian and Middle Eastern people to become a voice for them, shouting out their pain.
Mina Akbari is from Iran, a country carrying a rich culture and history in the chaos of the Middle East. In her paintings, Akbari uses contemporary visual language to represent her interpretation of Iranian-Middle Eastern history and culture. Her paintings allude to the political situations in Iran and the Middle East. Akbari’s main inspirational resource is oriental rugs which carry a long history and are part of her cultural identity. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in textile art in Iran before earning her master’s in art history from Florida State University.
In her painting “Covid-19” she intends to record the history in the format of Persian rugs. She likes to revive her ancestors’ habit of depicting their culture and history using threads on the loom because they did not have access to any other medium. The center of the painting includes three shapes of the Corona Virus and super-stylized birds that are common in Persian rugs. Borders showcase decorative calligraphy. Akbari plans to make a Persian rug based on this painting in the near future.
for more information visit Mina’s Instagram: @mina.akbari.studio