Mohammed Djazmi

Social Commentary

17 - 31 May 2013

PRIVATE VIEW 17 MAY 2013 6pm - 8pm

Iranian artist Mohammed Djazmi is exhibiting a series of paintings and etchings on the theme of Social Commentary. The subject of the series portrays the life cycle of a non-specific group of corrupt individuals - from its assembly to a destruction brought about by the relationships within the group and/or the group’s rejection by society.

Djazmi, 64 from Cambridge, who was born in Iran, came to England with his wife and two sons in 1984 after being granted an Artist Visa. His work is based upon themes of human pain and suffering brought on by immoral politics. He says his experiences of monarchy, theocracy and democracy have played an inspirational role:

“I think that only those who are a part of a particular society can accurately reflect it through art, and that it is art which acts as a social commentary. Therefore, as someone who has lived under both dictatorship – in Iran – and democracy - in Britain - I want to explore the ways in which art is used to reflect and convey the social context in which it has flourished.

“After moving to Tehran, where I went to university in the mid-60s, from relatively rural Iran, I realized that social freedom was not at all the same as political freedom. While we could do what we wanted, we could not say what we thought.”


From Uprising to Confusion

(series of seven paintings)

Artist’s statement:

On 18 December 2010, a 26-year-old street vendor called Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in Tunis in protest against what he saw as harassment by the authorities.

The news didn't really make an impression on me at the time. I had no idea that it would lead to three revolutions and countless popular demonstrations.

Bouazizi's death sparked the so-called 'Arab Spring'. Dictators and their associates, who had enjoyed decades of power, were swept away by the people they had oppressed.

But while the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya were decisive and clear-cut, what has happened since in countries like Bahrain and Syria has been, for me, far more confusing. Who is supporting whom there, and for what purpose?

My series of oil paintings, From Uprising to Confusion, depicts this chain of events from my perspective.

Looking for Freedom