The auction highlights include Amira Behbehani’s (b. 1964) recent oil painting Study of Francis Bacon (Men in Blue), 2012, estimated at $9,000–$10,500. Inspired by a series of 7 deep-blue canvases that the British artist painted in 1954, this work seeks to engage a debate on the political and religious views of wearing the Abayya.
Among Iranian artists there is Shiva Ahmadi (b. 1975), whose Brown Veil, 2011 is a mixed media work on aquabord carrying the estimate of $17,000–$18,500. Golnaz Fathi’s (b. 1972) Untitled, 2007 – 2008, is a diptych masterfully combining Arabic calligraphy and strong brushstrokes of red and black (estimate $17,000– $18,500). Shahrzad Changalvaee’s (b. 1983) photographs Body #1, Motherland #4 and Me #1, 2010, from the Body Composition Remaining within Limited Domain series are offered as one lot estimated at $9,500–$11,000. The artist had the three words made from Plexiglas, put LED lights inside and took these pictures in the twilight – the lit up words defining and spotlighting people.
The highest value lot in the sale is Garden Party, 2011, by the acclaimed Iranian painter, musician and performance artist Reza Derakshani (b. 1952), a large (182 x 304 cm) oil painting in vibrant shades of red and pink executed in 2011 and estimated at $65,000–$95,000.
North Africa is represented by Lalla Essaydi (b. 1956) with two large-format color portraits from her Converging Territory series, 2003, estimated at $12,000–$13,500 each. Fifi Smoking, Cairo 2000, a rare photograph of the Egyptian belly dancer Fifi Abdou by Youssef Nabil carries the estimate of $15,000–$16,500. French-Algerian photographer Michel Haddi’s (b. 1956) Johnny Depp is a large-format portrait of the US movie star shot for Premiere magazine on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angels in 1992. This photograph was featured in JAMM’s inaugural exhibition Iconic Bionic in Dubai last March and is estimated at $15,000–$16,500.
The three wall-mounted sculptures and suspended installations by Pakistani artist Simeen Farhat (b. 1968) aim to translate the dynamism of Rumi’s poems into visual energy. Twisted Melody, 2010, Intent, 2011, and Red Spill, 2012, are estimated at $12,000–$13,500 and $8,500–$10,000 respectively.
International artists include Rachel Lee Hovnanian’s large-format photograph Fake Flowers, Living Room, 2012, estimated at $13,500–$15,000, and a unique print of Bert Stern’s (b. 1929) Marilyn in Red Scarf, 2012, a photograph of Marilyn Monroe from the famous Last Sitting with hand-applied jewels ($16,500–$18,000). Al Braithwaite’s (b. 1979) Hearts & Minds, 2012, is an intricate piece consisting of nine ‘heart-grenades,’ each having at its core a measure of soil drawn from sites of contemporary geopolitical significance such as Helmand, Cairo and Manhattan and acting as a receptacle for the history of these places ($15,000–$16,500).
Mashrabia Cabana, 2011, a 4 x 4 x 4 meter cabana inspired by traditional mashrabiyas, by Swiss architect and designer André C. Meyerhans blurs the boundaries between art, design and architecture and is estimated at $61,000– $62,500.
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