About The Work
In the Hunting Series, Derakshani recalls ancient Persian manuscript paintings that depict the authoritative hunting scenes of the Royal Court. Decontextualized, and removed from intended prey or targets, the manipulated figures transcend narratives of power, hunting indefinitely as they blur into canvas and fade from memory. In the Garden Party series, Derakshani interprets traditional metaphors for heaven and the afterlife, where families communally gather and feast under tents in vivid and idyllic gardens. Magic realism appears in Derakshani's work, as subtle manifestations of nostalgic and ambivalent reactions to exile and alienation. Growing up in Sangsar, in a nomadic family in the Iranian mountains, the artist was enveloped in folklore and the natural world from a young age that strongly imprinted his conscience.
WhatsApp Video 2019-12-10 at 60957 PM from Leila Heller Gallery on Vimeo.
Born in 1952 in Sangsar, a small village in the North East of Iran, Reza Derakshani is a painter, musician and performance artist. Graduating from The University of Tehran in 1976, Derakshani continued his studies at Pasadena School of Art, going on to teach at the University of Tehran before leaving the country in 1986. Reza Derakshani’s work is featured in many public art collections including the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the State Russian Museum; the Museum Gunzenhauser, Germany; the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and numerous private collections worldwide. Derakshani also performed as a musician at festivals such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Montreux Jazz Festival among others. He now spends his time in St Petersburg, Russia.
Since its establishment over three decades ago, Leila Heller Gallery has gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in promoting creative dialogue and exchange between Western artists and Middle Eastern, Central and Southeast Asian artists. In addition to presenting a dynamic exhibition schedule, the gallery actively organizes shows with world-renowned curators, hosts educational panels and film screenings, and produces catalogues and books with scholarly essays. Leila Heller Gallery opened its location in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue at 14,000 sqft, the largest gallery in the UAE. Showcasing leading regional and international artists, the gallery is dedicated to supporting the evolving practice of established artists. The gallery has strong innovative curatorial and educational programs with emphasis on promoting a dialogue between Western and Middleeastern artists.