The Practice of Self

How does an artist’s life shape or determine their artwork? It’s often impossible to know unless the artist appears in their work, or they tell us in words. In the Feature articles in the November/December issue of ArtAsiaPacific, we look at two artists—from different generations and geographies—whose practices draw from their own lives in unique ways.

For our cover Feature, curator, writer, and consultant Danielle Shang visited Tehran-born (2019) depicts mischievous toddlers grabbing at ominous, melting figures, while their companions gleefully smear their muddied hands across the room. As Madani explained to Shang: “In many of my new paintings, children are scrambling, annihilating, and devouring the ‘shit moms.’ It seems grotesque, but it’s the blueprint of Western civilization. Parents must allow themselves to be overcome by their offspring.” Shang and Madani unpack the psychological underpinnings of Madani’s works, homing in on her use of scale, blurred fields of color, and dark domestic interiors to convey the anxieties of womanhood, and now motherhood.

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