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Jul 2021

Mayten’s Project Opens With Inaugural Exhibition Titled “Who Am I?” Part One Of The IAR Fund

Mayten’s Projects, a brand new contemporary art gallery and exhibition space opens to the public with a world class exhibition titled, “Who Am I?” a twelve artist group exhibition for the annual Iranian Artist Relief Fund. The gallery, established in 2020 by Hirbod Human and Farnoosh Talaee, aims to foster connection within art and bring impactful experiences with contemporary art to the public.

Inspired by a desire to promote both international and domestic artists in a global context, the inaugural exhibition is dedicated to Iranian artists who are forced to live under strict restrictions, sanctions, and censorship while lacking governmental, institutional, and educational support. The inaugural Iranian Artist Relief exhibition will showcase contemporary, politically charged works for the first-time ever on North American soil with eighty percent of all sales going directly back to the artists. The exhibition is rare due to the challenges of getting the art outside of Iran and into Canada as all artists still live and work in Iran.

Talaee curated the exhibition remotely, with the assistance of an artistic advisory board consisting of Ramin & Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, an artist collective with international recognition and prestige. Talaee virtually consulted with each artist and gave them artistic, marketing and financial support along the way. Mayten’s will be the annual exhibitor of this great cause.

“Launching Mayten’s with the Iranian Artist Relief Fund is an important step in showing the Canadian art world how we intend to foster critical dialogues through conscious artistic programming,'' says co-founders Human and Talaee. “We aim to exhibit artists on their merit regardless of location and support them with Canadian and international opportunities.”

The centrepiece of “Who Am I?” is Javad Azimi’s “Fox of Incheh Plain” (2020) a handmade felt with plant dyed wool and single-channel video that harks back to the social and political issues relating to the extinction of the Iranian Turkman fox and the dangerous environmental practices often hidden to Western media.

With many material resources unavailable, Janan Nozari’s embroidery on cotton “Golnar” (2020), uses blood and physical garments as a symbol of gender, and racial politics. Artist Abolfazl-Abby-Masoumi’s work, “Men” (2020) reflects on oppressive power structures to suppress sexual orientation and gender rights, in his papercut, pencil & oil color on cardboard piece.

Additional works examine language, environment, identity, gender and location within a restricted place. Other artists include Armin Alian, Sepehr Haji-Abaadi, Niloofar Kasbi, Ghazal Marvi, Sadra Mir-Sharifi, Parsa Mostaghim, Toloo Naseri, Zahra Shafie and Shadi Yasrebi.

Mayten’s is a recognized name in the international art community, with recent projects in Los Angeles and New York City. The new gallery headquartered at 165 Niagara St, Toronto, ON is sponsored by TAS, an unconventional impact company that promotes connected, caring and committed communities. TAS strongly believes that art and culture are powerful tools that can help connect and build community.