Purified
       
     
  These paintings explore themes of torture and the Foucoulian concept of otherness. Using the original images from Abu Ghraib prison as a direct reference the subject matter is the displaced, disenfranchised and demonized ‘other’ figure and the ‘space between two deaths’ that it inhabits. I have become interested in the imprisoned body as well as the interior/space of the political prison, torture has long been an intimate, private affair- what Elaine Scarry refers to as ‘unmaking the (victim’s) world.  In these works, the scale of the figures is a deliberate theatrical device intended to dwarf the viewer, thereby intensifying the magnitude of the pain depicted and placing the viewer in the room with the victim. The tension in the figures and the iconography of the way they are posed is rooted in Renaissance and Greek sculptural tradition (The figure in yellow stands in the classical ‘Contrapposto’- recognizable in Michelangelo’s David, prevalent in Hellinsic sculpture), or reminiscent of Christ and crucifixion (the figure in red) or sits on the cusp of pain and ecstasy (the figure in blue- the inspiration for the open mouth is Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa). This dichotomy between human suffering and the divine figure is a way to engage the viewer subconsciously with historical and aesthetic themes of religion and eroticism. Additionally, the use of bright, seductive colours is a nod to pop art and the abstract expressionist style of painting frames the torture of the ‘other’ in a recognizable Western aesthetic to provoke a psychological response . 
       
     
Sanctified
       
     
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izzy--izdehar-afyouni-sanctified-2016-detail_27889372901_o.jpg
       
     
Baptised
       
     
izzy--izdehar-afyouni-baptised-2016-detail_27931102226_o.jpg
       
     
Purified
       
     
Purified

Oil on canvas

250 x 180 cm

2016

  These paintings explore themes of torture and the Foucoulian concept of otherness. Using the original images from Abu Ghraib prison as a direct reference the subject matter is the displaced, disenfranchised and demonized ‘other’ figure and the ‘space between two deaths’ that it inhabits. I have become interested in the imprisoned body as well as the interior/space of the political prison, torture has long been an intimate, private affair- what Elaine Scarry refers to as ‘unmaking the (victim’s) world.  In these works, the scale of the figures is a deliberate theatrical device intended to dwarf the viewer, thereby intensifying the magnitude of the pain depicted and placing the viewer in the room with the victim. The tension in the figures and the iconography of the way they are posed is rooted in Renaissance and Greek sculptural tradition (The figure in yellow stands in the classical ‘Contrapposto’- recognizable in Michelangelo’s David, prevalent in Hellinsic sculpture), or reminiscent of Christ and crucifixion (the figure in red) or sits on the cusp of pain and ecstasy (the figure in blue- the inspiration for the open mouth is Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa). This dichotomy between human suffering and the divine figure is a way to engage the viewer subconsciously with historical and aesthetic themes of religion and eroticism. Additionally, the use of bright, seductive colours is a nod to pop art and the abstract expressionist style of painting frames the torture of the ‘other’ in a recognizable Western aesthetic to provoke a psychological response . 
       
     

These paintings explore themes of torture and the Foucoulian concept of otherness. Using the original images from Abu Ghraib prison as a direct reference the subject matter is the displaced, disenfranchised and demonized ‘other’ figure and the ‘space between two deaths’ that it inhabits. I have become interested in the imprisoned body as well as the interior/space of the political prison, torture has long been an intimate, private affair- what Elaine Scarry refers to as ‘unmaking the (victim’s) world.  In these works, the scale of the figures is a deliberate theatrical device intended to dwarf the viewer, thereby intensifying the magnitude of the pain depicted and placing the viewer in the room with the victim. The tension in the figures and the iconography of the way they are posed is rooted in Renaissance and Greek sculptural tradition (The figure in yellow stands in the classical ‘Contrapposto’- recognizable in Michelangelo’s David, prevalent in Hellinsic sculpture), or reminiscent of Christ and crucifixion (the figure in red) or sits on the cusp of pain and ecstasy (the figure in blue- the inspiration for the open mouth is Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa). This dichotomy between human suffering and the divine figure is a way to engage the viewer subconsciously with historical and aesthetic themes of religion and eroticism. Additionally, the use of bright, seductive colours is a nod to pop art and the abstract expressionist style of painting frames the torture of the ‘other’ in a recognizable Western aesthetic to provoke a psychological response . 

Sanctified
       
     
Sanctified

Oil on canvas

250 x 180 cm

2016

27863490732_e4fbaebc4b_o.jpg
       
     
izzy--izdehar-afyouni-sanctified-2016-detail_27889372901_o.jpg
       
     
Baptised
       
     
Baptised

Oil on canvas

250 x 180 cm

2016

izzy--izdehar-afyouni-baptised-2016-detail_27931102226_o.jpg