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Tala Madani (Iranian/American, b. 1981), Untitled (Man at a Podium), 2002, oil on canvas, signed and dated

Tala Madani (Iranian/American, b. 1981), Untitled (Man at a Podium), 2002, oil on canvas, signed and dated

Item Description:

Signed and dated "02" in black on reverse, depicting a smiling man standing behind a podium, from which hang three "cocoons," each containing a miniature male figure, hanging by a noose and wrapped in swaddling cloth, on the far right of the podium hangs an empty noose, unframed


With some spotting to the verso. There is also white paint splatter lower right, but this appears to be the intention of the artist. Please contact for specific condition questions.


Private collection, Oregon


Height 61 in. x Width 37 in.

About The Artist:

Tala Madani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981 and lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in 2004 and received her MFA from Yale University in 2006. Shortly after graduating, Madani had her first solo exhibition, ''Smoke and Mirrors'' at Lombard-Freid Projects in New York, 2007. She has received several international awards and honors such as the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting in 2013, the De Volkskrant Art Award in 2012, the Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting Fellowship in 2008, and the Kees Verwey Fellowship in 2007.

Madani's work often depicts middle aged Middle Eastern men undergoing bizarre humiliation or starring in absurd scenes of cartoon violence and abomination. Her subjects defecate on each other and are usually tormented by strange and degrading rituals. These paintings dance between dark humor and shocking perversion and defy a single interpretation. Madani uses her subjects to comment on the male ego, masculinity, sexual curiosity, and stereotypes. Her loose brushwork and simplification of her subjects amplify their clumsiness. The quickness of her strokes creates the feeling of voyeurism, or the sense of secretly watching a private scene, and it is almost impossible not to indulge.

This early 2002 painting predates the artist's mature style but anticipates themes present in her later work. The smiling, well dressed primary figure is self-possessed and confident, juxtaposed with the macabre and jarring scene of death in the foreground. Three ghostlike figures hang from the podium and go unnoticed by the subject as he tries to seduce his audience. This surreal, even nightmarish scene may comment on the trustworthiness or the fake facade of public figures. In 2003, Madani received the Oregon State University President's Award for Excellence in Art for her undergraduate work.


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Tala Madani (Iranian/American, b. 1981), Untitled (Man at a Podium), 2002, oil on canvas, signed and dated

Listed price: $6,400.00

Contact Lofty