EFA STUDIO PROGRAM: Member Artists

Shahpour Pouyan

My subject is glorifying human advancement by hybridizing what I consider the "residues" of empires. I use different aspects of human history such as architecture, technology and armaments to infer power and its use throughout history. This idea came to my mind after observing the layers of historical styles that accumulate on the architectural remains of past Empires. Hagia Sofia which was a Hellenistic Temple had Iconized to a Byzantium Church and finally Arabesqued as an Ottoman Mosque.

I also draw ideas from my personal upbringing as the child of an Iranian Army General. My childhood was flooded with the smell of history and power: the atmosphere of the Iran-Iraq war, the Islamic martyrdom cult, the blueprints of American and Soviet fighter planes like the F-4 or the MiGs, the Tv documentaries about the Cold War and the portraits of political leaders next to our bathroom door.

Baroque antiques and outfits, architectural floorplans of monumental buildings, killing machines and scientific geometrical diagrams are part of my vocabulary in recreating a renovated historical landscape. Combining different signifiers of religions, cultures, technologies and empires' rococo helps me portrait the visual Esperanto of wealth and power.

I bridge different historical references to celebrate the glorious halo of Empires' metabolic waste.