Two Dimensional Biographies by Amir H. Fallah
Los Angeles based painter Amir H. Fallah renders two-dimensional biographies of his subjects using alternative imagery to create a visual language that helps us understand who a person is. Though surrounded by intimate belongings, the faces and bodies of Fallah’s subjects are covered in highly ornate fabric, turning everything we know about portraiture upside-down.
Brainard Carey wrote, in Praxis Interviewmagazine: “Portraits of the artist’s veiled subjects employ ambiguity to skillfully weave fact and fiction like the textiles that cover them. While the stories that surround his muses are deeply personal, as told through the intimate possessions the subjects are encompassed by, they universalize generational experiences of movement, trauma, and celebration. With their Pop Art hues and investment in domestic life, Fallah’s paintings wryly incorporate contemporary American tropes into paintings more formally rooted in Islamic Art, including the organization and arabesque embellishment of Persian miniatures. In doing so, his work possesses a hybridity that reflects his own background as an Iranian- American immigrant straddling cultures.”
In 2017, Judson Studios translated two of Fallah’s paintings into stained glass. Embracing the World, the artist’s stained and fused glass self-portrait, alludes to Renaissance paintings of mother and child. An homage to his son, the piece was sold before the opening of Fallah’s solo show at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery in LA. A second Judson collaboration, entitled Offering, features Fallah’s portrait of an Iranian artist who came to America to pursue her art career the day after The Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban.
Fallah received his BFA in Fine Art and Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and his MFA in Painting at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and abroad, including solo presentations at the Schneider Museum, Ashland, Oregon (2017); the San Diego Art Institute (2017); the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, Kansas, (2015); and The Third Line, Dubai (2017, 2013, 2009, 2007, 2005). The recipient of the 2017 California Community Foundation Grant and 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, the artist was chosen to participate in the 9th Sharjah Biennial. This event enriches the cultural landscape of the Gulf by commissioning, producing, and presenting innovative and challenging art experiences for the United Arab Emirates community while offering an internationally recognized platform for artists from the region.
As his work attracts new collectors in painting and glass, Fallah will participate in three solo exhibitions in 2019-2020: the first in August 2019, at Dio Horia gallery in Greece; then in January 2020 at MOCA Tucson; followed by April 2020 at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery in Los Angeles. The artist is currently working with Judson Studios on a large public stained glass project for LA City to be unveiled in 2021.