• When Madness Meets Hunger Drawing by Aphrodite Désirée Navab

    Date posted: June 7, 2016 Author: jolanta

    Opening and Artist talk: Friday June 10, 2016, 6-8 pm.
    @ STUDIO 26 GALLERY, 179 East 3rd Street, New York, NY.
    On view: June 8 – July 3, 2016.


    STUDIO 26 GALLERY invites you to join the opening of WHEN MADNESS MEETS HUNGER. This is an ongoing series of ink drawings by Aphrodite Désirée Navab. Her work is known to haunt “…our imagination with its beauty and complexity, inviting us to engage in a third space of transnational and cross-cultural initiations, leaving domination and demonization outside the picture,’ –collector of the series and NY Times #1 Best Seller author Reza Aslan of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013) writes. “Her art is the aching inquiry of an uprooted consciousness seeking new roots.”

    WHEN MADNESS MEETS HUNGER consists of thirteen ink drawings “serving a site of critical dialogue and debate” where Navab imagines an invented encounter between the protagonist of Iranian writer Sadeq Hedayat’s novella The Blind Owl and the protagonist of Czech writer Franz Kafka’s short story, “The Hunger Artist.”

    “I do weeks of research for my art, collecting primary sources,” says Navab. “For this series, I re-read Hedayat’s novella The Blind Owl, and I re-read Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist.” I read secondary sources, examining and critiquing their art. I read historical sources on the Czech republic and Austria during Kafka’s time and Iran during Hedayat’s time, then researched the internet for photographs of the writers from birth until death…It is no accident that Hedayat translated several of Kafka’s work into Farsi.” Metaphors, allegories, and themes are explored of the artists in voluntary exile, the nature of performance art, the real and the ideal, rituals of insanity, the existential crises of the artists and their autobiographical narratives.


    Aphrodite Désirée Navab is an artist and writer based in New York City of Iranian and Greek descent (b. Isfahan, Iran). In 2004 she completed an Ed. Doctorate in Art Education at Columbia University. She received her BA magna cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College in 1993.

    Navab’s art has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions and is included in a number of permanent collections including: The Lowe Art Museum, the Harn Museum of Fine Arts, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Arkansas State University.

    Navab was recruited by STUDIO 26 GALLERY in October, 2015. Her artwork has been represented by the gallery ever since, featuring the new series on its website; www.studio26eastvillage.com/dsire-navab-portfolio. Her work was exhibited by Studio 26 Gallery at the following fairs: Art on Paper, Art Basel Miami, December 1-6, 2015, and Art New York/Context, NYC, May 3-8, 2016.

    In the process of making art Navab dislocates and relocate her place between Greece, Iran and the United States. Each exhibition or installation provides a material reference, each series places a foundation stone into a new home that she is building away from home, but always in critical dialogue with the memory of that first home.

    STUDIO 26 GALLERY is happy to provide a home to Navab’s current vision, WHEN MADNESS MEETS HUNGER for four summer weeks: June 8 through July 3, 2016. We are hosting a special event at the opening reception on Friday, June 10th, at 7 pm: an informal and interactive artist’s talk, where Navab will share her concepts for this series, her artistic practice and creative process, and take questions from the audience. Please mark your calendars.

    Opening & Artist talk: Friday June 10, 2016, 6-8 pm.
    @ STUDIO 26 GALLERY, 179 East 3rd Street, New York, NY.
    On view: June 8 — July 3, 2016.

    Curated by Marika Maiorova.

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