Exploring issues of freedom, dignity, and social justice, Talepasand’s body of work speaks to the troubled, yet hopeful, differences between Iran and its women in today’s “modern” society. Drawing from her own Iranian heritage, Talepasand illustrates the uphill battle for democratic rights bred from the dangerous combination of consecrated conservatism bound with sexism, classism, racism, and religious discrimination.
With an aim to dissolve the distinction between what is tolerable and what is taboo, Talepasand’s work daringly dissects the concept of how cultural associations are contorted and conflated, as they cross physical and imagined boundaries. As art critic Brett Levine said, “Perhaps the most unexpected element of Talepasand’s exhibition is its myriad references to classicism, in both her materials and her subject matter. It is as if the visceral nature of her works is mitigated, in part, by the beauty of her surfaces.” Recreating familiar perceptions, paradigms, and cognitive processes through a combination of traditional Persian painting techniques and provocative realism, Westoxicated entices viewers to question the conflicting messages before them.
“To create art, it is imperative for me to be vulnerable. Torment and twist—extract the truth from issues with which I need to deal. However, I believe that art has to possess an element of courage in order to provoke change—socially, intellectually and morally, most notable, in a world where ideas of culture, political and intellectual activities are evolving, but not without conflicts affecting generations to come.” – Taravat Talepasand