ARTISTS > Taravat Talepasand

Taravat Talepasand


  • Pulse NY 2011
  • Beyond the Border Art Fair
  • Hampah

  • Artist's Catalog (pdf, 258.18 Kb)

    Artist's Website


    Taravat Talepasand
    Artist Statement

    “A modestly dressed woman is a pearl in its shell.”
    –Broadcasted in English and Farsi in all local Iranian airports.

    “What could be defined as more foul, devoid of dignity and obscene than prostitutes, pimps, and the other plagues of this kind? Take away prostitutes from a society and all will be overturned as a consequence of distorted passions. Put them in the place of honest women, and you will dishonour every single thought with guilt and shamelessness. We’ll take them out of poetry, and we would miss the most melodious sweetness. Gather many together in a single composition, and it will vex me because all will be mawkish, pedantic, affected. The order that governs moderates such things would not tolerate their being too many, nor too few, A humble and almost disregarded discourse highlights elevated expressions and elegant movements, alternating between one and the other.”
    –On Ugliness, Umberto Eco, 2005, Pg # 50

    Paying close attention to the cultural taboos identified by distinctly different social groups, particularly those of gender, race and socioeconomic position, my work reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our “modern” society. Since I myself am considered a taboo, my work challenges plebeian notions of acceptable behavior. This is evidenced by the self-portraiture and autobiographical echo in each of my pieces. I draw on realism and renaissance painting to bring a focus on an acceptable beauty and its relationship with art history.

    After my recent visit to Iran I became more aware of what was inappropriate and how accessible that was within any culture. Growing up Iranian in America had been arduous and awkward. We had little consciousness of assimilation, because we were in denial of our permanence in America. To be a young woman from Iran of the Islamic Republic involved a certain degree of uncertainty over one’s identity. American individualism and Iranian deference to tradition were irreconcilable. That was the catch that no one ever told you about-that traveling down one of those paths meant turning your back on the other. The contradictions bounced around my head. What percentage of identity was exterior, what percentage self-defined? Was it sixty-forty, like a game of backgammon, sixty percent luck, forty percent skill?


God Favours the Sacrificed, 2008 | Graphite on Paper | 30 x 27 inches