Orkideh Torabi's Latest Solo Show Laughs at Patriarchy
"The primary source of inspiration for me is the current repression of women throughout patriarchal societies. I depict men as funny, cartoonish figures in decorative colors. This representation aims to mock the complex and fragile masculinity of patriarchal societies in which men control every aspect of life."
In 1979, Orkideh Torabi was born in Tehran, Iran – a country in the midst of revolution. Throughout life, Torabi maintained similar revolutionary vigor as she pursued art school in Tehran, where she eventually received her BA and MA, and left for America to gain her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, she uses art to challenge the very same regime that rose to power over forty years ago. "This show depicts men celebrating freedom and enjoying their time as they drink, picnic, and swim – doing almost anything they want. My work depicts scenes that women would be typically excluded from, even though it's entirely normal for men to be doing such things."
"With these works, I talk about the advantages of being a man while using humor to question these social norms. Men are vulnerable and insecure. By putting pressure on women, whether conscious or unconscious, they overcome their insecurity and low self-esteem. Male-dominated societies put pressure on women to conform to specific standards, to make women do what they want them to do. In this repressive reality, women are limited in power. However, through painting, I create a space to mess with these men and to play with them on my own terms."
Orkideh Torabi's "Give Them All They Want" opens at the Richard Heller Gallery on June 22, 2019, and is on display through August 3, 2019.