artnet Auctions Presents an Exclusive Sale: Iranian Photography Now

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artnet Auctions is pleased to feature the Iranian Photography Now sale, featuring 32 works from 15 Iranian Contemporary photographers, such as Sadegh Tirafkan (b.1965), Shirin Neshat (b.1957), Newsha Tavakolian (b.1981), and Shadi Ghadirian (b.1974), among others. Lot estimates range from US$2,000 to US$16,000.

Multitude No. 10, Digital Photo Collage by Sadegh Tirafkan

Sadegh Tirafkan Multitude No. 10, 2008 Digital photo collage Ed. 3 of 6 38.25 x 58 in. Est. US$8,000–10,000

artnet Auctions is proud to present a special sale of Iranian Photographs. Comprised of a selection of works by Iranian Contemporary photographers, this sale traces the artistic expression and self-exploration of the country’s top artists working today.

Iranian photographers in particular depict a different Iran from the one typically seen in western media. While many viewers are used to seeing news images that portray Iran as an anti-American nation, these artists offer a glimpse into everyday Iranian life. They show what it means to live and work in Iran as artists expressing themselves through imagery and symbols that are inherent to their culture. These artists create unique and powerful photographic images through the incorporation of distinctly Iranian motifs, including traditional clothing, such as burkas and headscarves, and popular designs and patterns traditionally seen in garments and rugs.

Included works reflect different periods in Iran’s history. The subject matter in photographic works by Shirin Neshat and Hossein Khosrojerdi directly reflects a critical period in Iran’s political history that peaked during the Iranian Revolution, in 1978 and 1979. In contrast, works by artists of the younger generation—a group that includes Sadegh Tirafkan, Newsha Tavakolian, and Shadi Ghadirian—are representative of the post-Revolution political landscape.

An important photograph in this sale is Tirafkan’s Multitude No. 10 (2008), estimated from US$8,000 to US$10,000. The work is part of the artist’s Multitude series, which deals with issues surrounding rapid population growth in Iran and throughout the world. Using digital photomontage techniques, Tirafkan expresses his views on how this is affecting Iran’s youth through a loss of identity and loss of culture.

Tavakolian’s Listen, Women Singers #5 (Portrait of Singer Sayeh Sodafi), estimated from US$4,500 to US$6,500, is part of a series of portraits of Iranian female singers. While Iranian law essentially silences these women by prohibiting them from performing in public, Tavakolian eloquently captures the joy and passion these women singers maintain for their art.

Ghardirian’s Quajar 14, estimated from US$14,000 to US$16,000, is another work that focuses on Iranian women and the obstacles they face in their daily lives. The piece is from a series in which Ghadirian had her female subjects pose in traditional dresses alongside contemporary objects, such as a mountain bike, guitar, and Pepsi cans, to highlight the larger issues of cultural dissonance created by the interplay between growing consumerism and the sustained enforcement of antiquated laws.

Iranian Photography Now is live on artnet Auctions from May 31 through June 7, 2012. View all lots in the sale.

For more information, please contact:

  •     Mary Buschman, Specialist, Contemporary Art, at +1-212-497-9700 ext. 170 or at
  •     Heather Russell, Senior Specialist, Modern and Contemporary Art, at +1-212-497-9700 ext. 692 or at

About artnet:
With 24/7 worldwide bidding, artnet Auctions is the world’s first online auction platform to buy and sell Modern and Contemporary paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and more. artnet has been online since 1995, and is host to approximately 2 million visitors each month. Through the artnet Price Database of all auction sales results worldwide since 1985 and artnet Galleries, artnet is the leading online resource for the international art market. | |

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Mary Buschman, Heather Russell
1-212-497-9700 170, 692