Parastoo Mahmoudi has tried to capture the underlying emotions that colour the human visage through her exhibition in Dubai. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Dubai: Ever been perplexed by fleeting expressions on people's faces? This is a theme that Iranian artist Parastoo Mahmoudi finds particularly interesting.

An exhibition titled ‘Faces' has now brought together some of Mahmoudi's best paintings at the Total Arts exhibition Courtyard, in Al Quoz, Dubai with tens of oil-print paintings attempting to explore human nature at a deeper level. The exhibition, she says, is her attempt to tell the story of many people who cannot explain themselves.

"Faces reflect feelings that people can't express," Mahmoudi told Gulf News on the sidelines of the exhibition. "These feelings are about misery, poverty and suffering of people", she added.

"During happiness, people can express their feelings. But in unhappy times, they can't. It is the faces that say it all."

Mahmoudi's fascination with the link between a person's face and his or her character is a defining feature of her art. Each face that adorns her canvas is distinct, yet universal in the layers of experience it conceals. Her insight into the human form expresses itself in a variety of mediums and styles.

Naming intrigue

All the displayed paintings carry names, with four exceptions. The names are intriguing too. Some of them are named Parents, Goodbye, Dreamless, beginning, Yellow thing, Family photo, Still young, Isolation, Innocent, Don't leave me, Angels, Dark side, Happiness, Age and Wrong world. The unnamed paintings go with the underlying text: "they don't have names, but if you can give a name, please do".

Emirati director and poet Nujoom Al Ganem, who was among visitors to the exhibition, said of the unnamed pieces: "She gives the visitor the freedom to name each of these four paintings. Each has a different concept and perspective, so each will have a different naming premise," Nujoom said.

Mahmoudi "brings to Dubai a range of expressive and honest portraits of real and imaginary characters. She expresses her creativity", said Suzan Ahmad, who was also among the visitors to the exhibition.

Mahmoudi was born in Tehran in 1976 but currently resides in Dubai. She started her artistic career in 1996.

  • What: Painting exhibition ‘Faces'
  • Who: Iranian artist Parastoo Mahmoudi
  • Where: Total Arts Exhibition Courtyard
  • When: July 19 to July 28