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Amir H. Fallah, "We See This Fight as Worship," 2022

Amir H. Fallah Wields Art as a Beacon for Freedom

Erica Silverman

16 February 2023

Amir H. Fallah’s powerful exhibition “War on Wars” opened this week at Shulamit Nazarian in Los Angeles. Comprised of new sculptures and paintings by the Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist, it speaks directly to the staging of identity, search for truth, and multifaceted immigrant experience. For the artist’s third solo show with the gallery, Fallah reflects on his childhood in Iran during the time of the Iran-Iraq war, creatively encouraging the support of human rights for all. 

In vibrant paintings that evoke emotional memory, the artist attests to the momentous effects of the geo-political landscape on mind, body, and soul. Within the exhibition are two ongoing series: “Veiled Portraits,” which reimagines classic portraiture with symbolic subjects, and “Vignette Paintings,” where images serve as narratives of personal wisdom and cautionary tales. 

Amir H. Fallah,

Amir H. Fallah, “For Those Who Fear Tomorrow,” 2022, 72 x 96 in., acrylic on canvas; photo by Ed Mumford, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.

Within the “Vignette Paintings,” are wrists in chains, a ferocious tiger, forbidden fruit, and fires unfurling are juxtaposed with blooming florals and rainbow hues. Artwork titles such as For Those Who Fear Tomorrow (2022), The Ballot or the Bullet (2022), We See This Fight as Worship (2022), and What the World Needs Now is Answers to Our Problems (2022) echo Fallah’s fierce yet poetic approach to protesting abuse and injustice. Emerging from the ongoing works is a series of abstract, hand-painted, aluminum sculptures—figures without age, gender, or ethnicity, thus open to interpretation and free from oppression. 

As an ongoing mission, Fallah aids the struggle for human rights in Iran with a concurrent exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA titled “The Fallacy of Borders,” presenting 25 energized works of sculpture, stained glass, and painting, as well as the artist’s public project, “CHANT”; Shulamit Nazarian illuminates Fallah’s commitment to liberation with the display of a grand neon artwork reading “WOMAN.LIFE.FREEDOM” in English, Farsi, and phonetic Farsi. The striking piece is presented on the exterior of the gallery on the heavily-trafficked LA Brea Avenue in Hollywood. 

Amir H. Fallah,

Amir H. Fallah, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” 2022, 60 x 60 in., acrylic on canvas; photo by Ed Mumford, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.

“First and foremost, this project is a tool for public education, joining the demand for urgent change in Iran, using the power of art to elevate the dialogue, spark press coverage, and keep it in the public eye,” said Fallah of CHANT. “The sun in the center carries great symbolic weight for the future of the Iranian people, an ancient symbol representing change, hope, and positive growth. CHANT is a visual statement that will help serve as a beacon for all those united in the struggle for freedom.”

Amir H. Fallah,

Amir H. Fallah, “Defender,” 2022, 84 x 60 in., acrylic on canvas; photo by Ed Mumford, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.

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