East Village’s favorite Studio 26 Gallery which is located in the Eastvillager building on East 3rd St. between Avenues A and B, is exhibiting a spectacular series, “When Madness Meets Hunger,” by artist Aphrodite Désirée Navab. Navab’s latest work is an ongoing series of ink drawings where she 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.”
At the opening on June 10th, Navab gave an artist talk where she shared her concepts for this series, her artistic practice and creative process, and took questions from the audience: “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 work. 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 works 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. A video of the opening and artist talk will be released during this week.
The exhibition is on view until July 3rd. We encourage everyone who is visiting NYC or walking through the East village to visit this fascinating exhibition and see, closely, the work of Aphrodite Désirée Navab.
“Her art is the aching inquiry of an uprooted consciousness seeking new roots.” – Collector of this series and NY Times #1 Best Seller author Reza Aslan of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013).