For a while now we've been getting my mind blown with the (diversity of) works by Tehran-based artist, Salman Khoshroo. And after his exhibition of paintings and sculptures held at Iran Shahr Gallery in his hometown, we wanted to share with you some of the works that this prolific artist is creating.

"In this exhibition, my main focus has been to create new interpretations of the portrait and human figure," Khoshroo told Juxtapoz about the multifarious presentation in which such materials as polyurethane foam, wool, velvet, wires, wood, as well as oil paint, are transformed into sculptures, paintings, and sculptural paintings. "My art plays with the expectations and perceptions of the human image," the artist explained the main idea behind the work that is exclusively depicting or portraying the human figure. Whether layering different shades of tinted wool to create a human face, squashing blobs of vibrant polyurethane foam to construct a human figure, molding the thick lumps of oil paint or silicone to model a portrait, the sole focus of his practice is conveying the shape and the ambiance of the fellow human through his work.  "It is about a human spark, a presence that engages with empathy. It is an obsession to take inanimate materials such as paint, and shape it into a face that embodies a human soul," the artist explains the core goal of his process.

Arguably the most impressive or extraordinary body of work is the woolen portraits and sculptures Khoshroo has been developing since the beginning of the pandemic. Combining sculpture and painting these works are stemming from the expressively painted portraits in which he is applying quick and ardent marks or even splatters of paint to construct dynamic portrait imagery. Somewhat more controlled, calculated, and therefore resulting in more soothing imagery of sitters with eyes closed, these pieces are deconstructing the figure while giving us an illusion of looking under their skin. "There is an essence that I am chasing that can manifest itself in many forms and materials," Khoshroo told us about choosing such uncommon materials to work with. Reminiscing muscular and tissue structure which is set out from the layers of delicate wool, the wool portraits are evoking the sensitivity and fragility of humans which consists underneath our solid anatomy. —Sasha Bogojev