For EXPO CHGO ONLINE, Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present new paintings by Los Angeles-based artists Amir H. Fallah and Daniel Gibson.
Fallah and Gibson explore what it means to make biographical work through symbols, archetypes, and surrogates, in an effort to challenge the nature of representation and navigate the psychological space of borders and bicultural histories.
Over the past decade, Amir H. Fallah has explored the history of portraiture. In a recent breakthrough, he has confronted long-standing limitations of this genre by removing the figure in favor of coded life maps, rich with images and symbols. Fallah’s paintings question not only the historical role of portraiture, but also the cultural systems that are used to identify one person from another. This absence of the subject’s likeness is now substituted with a wider representation of their personhood—one that spans time and cultures and is articulated through a network of symbols and imagery.
Growing up in the border town of El Centro, Daniel Gibson's paintings intermingle the genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life to create dream-like narratives, using memories to explore themes of identity and migration. Exploring a lexicon of symbols, Gibson explores his identity as a Mexican-American, his family’s migration story, and the memories of individuals that he watched make their journey into the United States. Articulated through abstracted human figures, objects, and elements of nature, Gibson’s paintings depict stories of struggle, resilience, and freedom.