'8' by Reihaneh Hosseini

Born in 1988 in Tehran, Iran, Reihaneh Hosseini immersed herself in philosophical studies before establishing her artistic base in Vienna in 2014. Her deliberate choice of the figurative style is more than a mere artistic decision; it’s a manifestation of her emotional core, the tales she wishes to convey, and her unique perspective on existence.

Hosseini’s inspirations are rooted in the quotidian: friends and commonplace experiences serve as the foundation of her narratives. However, when her impressions transition to canvas, they undergo a transformative process, leading to a dysmorphic represent action. The result? Figures with exaggerated dimensions, grotesque elements, distorted attributes, and a colour palette that defies expectation. Her artworks possess a profound corporeal resonance, making palpable the intangible absurdities she perceives in life’s myriad experiences. Each painting is a delicate balance of opposites, presenting figures that constantly vacillate between the aesthetic ally appealing and the disconcerting. The cartoonish veneer of her characters offers a light heartedness, an element of humour that is counterbalanced by their inherent philosophical nuances. In viewing Hosseini’s oeuvre, one is transported to a surreal realm. Here, each character acts as a mirror, reflecting aspects of our subconscious, invoking the innocence of our inner child and drawing upon our shared mental and sociocultural imageries.

In the realm of artistic expression, the symbol '8' embodies a profound metaphor for the cyclical nature of existence. This exhibition delves into the depths of this concept, exploring the intricate dance between repetition and infinity. It presents a journey through the labyrinth of life where the mundane and the extraordinary intertwine, forming an endless loop.

The essence of the exhibition is its reflection on the human condition. Life often becomes a repetitive journey, a march along twisted paths where moments blend into a monotonous continuum.

The vibrancy of conscious experience often diminishes, leaving behind faded memories and dulled perceptions. Yet, amidst this cyclic existence, pivotal events emerge as beacons of awakening, jolting us from slumber and compelling confrontation with our reality.

For Reihaneh, the protagonist of this narrative, such an awakening was catalysed by the "Woman, Life, Liberty" Movement. This transformative event reshaped her worldview, marking a definitive turning point. The artworks displayed are a testament to this metamorphosis, representing a departure from traditional artistic methods. The use of darker tones, a stark departure from her earlier works, symbolises a night questioning its own darkness, a metaphor for her introspective journey through the shadows of her psyche.

Reihaneh's artistic transformation is evident. Her earlier works, characterised by lighter hues and defined structures, have evolved. Abstract forms dominate and colours blend into complex palettes. Brushstrokes, once precise, are now bold and impulsive, capturing her transformative experience. This shift is not merely aesthetic but symbolic, mirroring her tumultuous journey of awakening.

Furthermore, the exhibition explores themes of parallel universes and the multifaceted experiences of womanhood. It questions the concept of escape within a multi-layered and complex reality, challenging traditional notions of liberation.

Thus, the exhibition stands as a poetic exploration of existence. It invites the audience to ponder their reality and the potential for transcendence beyond life's inescapable loops. Viewers are encouraged to embark on a journey of self-discovery, to confront their own paths, and perhaps find their unique route to awakening.