Open Window: Baha’is in Iran (2011)

mixed media art piece on layers of plexiglass in wooden box

The Baha’i Faith became of interest to me several years ago. I also learned about the unfortunate difficulties Baha’is face in Islamic countries, especially Iran. This piece was created to draw attention to the ongoing persecution of members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. In early 2011, I had read about arson on Baha’i-owned businesses and letters received by the community threatening destruction of property belong to Baha’is or Muslims known to befriend Baha’is. As recently stated by Siovash Khanjani, “The intention is to totally destroy the Baha’i community, both economically and culturally.”

While conducting research and sketching out various ideas, I kept coming back to how it must feel to walk up to your business and see that it had been attacked. From there, I developed the idea of building up layers with plexiglass inside a box. I also spoke with the public relations department of Baha’i Faith in the United States, because I didn’t want to accidentally offend those I intended to help. Since I was working abstractly, their main concern was not being portrayed as victims, because it was important to the community to maintain their dignity.

I hope that I have created a piece that is interesting enough that it will invite the viewer to look into the story behind it.

25 in by 35 in by 3½, solvent transfer, polymer gel transfer, wood glue, oil paint, spray paint, acrylic paint on plexiglass with burnt wood and ashes in wooden box, 2011.

For Sale: $500 USD

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