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Shima Esfandiyari's deep and powerful drawings at Mah Gallery

12/02/09 By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Last Friday, with a couple of fun friends, we set off gallery hunting. Mah Gallery, which is very close to where we live, was our last stop. We spent a long time there enjoying the spacious gallery, the good tea and shirini (sweets), as well as the delight of seeing the owner/manager Ms. Shahnaz Khonsari.  She introduced us to the lady painter whose works were on display which we enjoyed as we moved around the large gallery rooms.

Shima Esfandiyari

Ms Esfandiyari's exhibition was entitled Simple Technique of My Life and was focused on women's life. I found her work serious and interesting; and yet she seems to take life with a good pinch of salt, which I found most enchanting in such a young lady with such talent. Her work makes you think and sometimes dismiss it, as it can go quite deep and bring out much of what many wish to forget or forego.

In the catalogue it states that "... their body language and clothing exposes the boredom they feel towards their regimented lives."

Shima, who has been married for 7 years, enjoys the support of her young and most good looking architect husband who was present taking pictures of the work and the viewers while lovingly admiring his beloved and her works. When I asked Shima why she paints, she thought for a moment and said "it is a need."

I felt the suffocation that she portrays and the ways and means that she has to deal with pains and sorrows as well as the strange sense of isolation that life reaches the onlookers and makes them more aware and in tune with realities that are covered up so often by make up. The black lines of her drawings of these unknown women brings them and their lives to life in such a way that one cannot easily dismiss or forget.

I am sure the work of this lady artist will come to my attention again and I do hope she finds color without the loss of the depth that black and white gives. For now I wish her the very best, and share a few photographs from her exhibition to share with you.

Mah gallery: Tel/Fax: +98 (21) 2204 5879 89, Golestan Blvd, Africa Ave, Tehran

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