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Afarin Sajedi’s Portraits of Women Redefine Strength

These colorful, sometimes discomforting portraits by Tehran-based artist Afarin Sajedi present a unique image of strength. They are the many faces and mixed emotions of modern Iranian women, particularly the pain and joy felt upon leaving the safe walls of home. She is heavily inspired by Heinrich Boll’s Clown, seen in her use of makeup, while Gustav Klimt’s color palette strongly influences her use of agressive colors like red. This is also evident in her subject's costumes worn similarly to traditional hijab headwear. Some replace their hijab with helmets and plastic bags, while others express themselves by piercing their skin with utensils. No matter how they are outfitted, Sajedi's women hold onto their bold spirit underneath.

These colorful, sometimes discomforting portraits by Tehran-based artist Afarin Sajedi present a unique image of strength. They are the many faces and mixed emotions of modern Iranian women, particularly the pain and joy felt upon leaving the safe walls of home. She is heavily inspired by Heinrich Boll’s Clown, seen in her use of makeup, while Gustav Klimt’s color palette strongly influences her use of agressive colors like red. This is also evident in her subject’s costumes worn similarly to traditional hijab headwear.  Some replace their hijab with helmets and plastic bags, while others express themselves by piercing their skin with utensils. No matter how they are outfitted,  Sajedi’s women hold onto their bold spirit underneath.

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