Amir H. Fallah
Los Angeles, CA
Amir H. Fallah approaches his current paintings as an investigative, analytical historian, though a knowingly imprecise one. He is interested in truthfulness and limitations, and his current body of work grapple with those issues in a way that almost seems backwards: by taking the mistakenly truthful photograph and converting it back into the always suspect, uncontestably subjective medium of painting.
Inspired by elementary school bulletin boards, educational activity books, and crepe paper streamers, Peterson creates graphic portraits of an irrational world where happy characters are resolutely accepting of grotesque misfortune. The plague of absurdities presented in these paintings is rooted in popular culture as much as it is in old-hat surrealism. Issues of race, community, and social and economic upheaval are candy-colored and darkly comic. Smiling faces are unrelenting. Peterson never allows his people to be fazed. They never notice the nightmare. And it is here, within this pitiless deadpan that his work resonates.
I am obsessed with the materiality of paint. I apply the paint with anything I can get my hands on brushes, palette knives, syringes, and Q-tips. All serve as tools for a diverse mark-making. The figures emerge and at times spill over the edge. Allowing them to merge with or rub roughly against the world beyond the painting. This creates unrestricted forms.
The process allows me to fall in love over and over again. With each work brought from conception to completion I am compelled to experience love’s conclusion and its after effects.. As in love itself, there are instances a sensitive and delicate touch is required. Yet, also true in love, there are times when things need to become abrasive. So one must come to know when to allow what is murky, what is mysterious or difficult to discern, to be vivid in its own right.
Additionally, I employ aspects of my own appearance (nose, cheekbones, jaw-line, eyes, etc.) to compose these portraits, by melding aspects of myself with those of the figures seen here. The paintings function as a representation of my views and ideas as both the viewer and the artist, and how I see the figures central to these portraits as combinations of both.