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Tala Madani in "Los Angeles"Preview
In this preview from the Los Angeles episode of Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century, artist Tala Madani reflects on her background and how it informs the ways her work is perceived.
“I think there is a proclivity for people to read into the figures as from Iran,” says the Tehran-born artist, who moved to Oregon as a teenager, of her paintings. “If I was a Mexican artist, the audience would read them as Mexican men.”More information
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Tala Madani skewers stereotypes in her sharply satirical paintings that evoke clashes of culture: men and women, the rational and the absurd, Western and non-Western. Madani’s figurative paintings often feature a riotous cast of middle-aged men, balding and stocky, whose libidinal mayhem wreaks havoc on any situation the artist thrusts them into. Acerbic caricatures of both machismo and a childlike desire for mischief, the physical comedy at work in Madani’s paintings is anchored by intense pleasures, pathos, and a pervasive sense of violence. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.