This painting, part of a series, is a response to the November 2019 killings of protesters in Iran, an event known as Bloody November. The composition draws influence from renaissance master painters, particularly Mantegna and Masaccio. The concept of martyrdom, attributable to both Western and Eastern cultures, is used here by the artist as a form of “quiet personal lamentation; a homage to the suffered, defeated, pressured, pained and murdered.”
About these works, Khakshoor says: "As I was–and still am–bearing the rage, sorrow, and hopelessness caused by the incident, this [series] came about. The phenomenon of martyrdom is a complex one, [getting] more complicated when it enters the political realm [and] infected by propaganda machinery. Thinking of its loaded connotations and various uses in different contexts, I have named the series Martyrs."
Morteza Khakshoor’s narrative paintings are rooted in art history while also referencing the politics and history of Iran, where he was born. The artist’s work draws influence from renaissance masters, especially Mantegna and Masaccio, for their handling of form and their sympathetic figures. Khakshoor’s work explores the dignity of his subjects—especially those who suffer for their opposition to brutal and oppressive forces.
Morteza Khakshoor was born in Iran in 1984. After moving to the United States in 2010, the artist received a BFA from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut in 2015 and an MFA at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 2018.
Solo exhibitions of Khakshoor’s work include: Forty-One Drawings and Prints at University Art Gallery at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California (2018); and What Has Become Of Your Strength at George Mason Atrium Gallery at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (2016).
Group exhibitions of Khakshoor’s work include: Humoral Theory, a three-person exhibition at BEERS in London, UK (2020); the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair at London, UK; Art on Paper Fair at The Tunnel in New York (2019); and the 2018 Edition Artists Book Fair (E/AB) in New York City.
Khakshoor is the recipient of many awards, including the Inaugural Emerging Artist Award given at the Editions/Artists’ Book Fair (E/AB) in 2018.
Khakshoor’s works are in several private and public collections, including the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice in New York City.
Khakshoor lives and works in Southern California.
This painting, part of a series, is a response to the November 2019 killings of protesters in Iran, an event known as Bloody November. The composition draws influence from renaissance master painters, particularly Mantegna and Masaccio.More