Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sylvia Gutierrez reviews Samad Ghorbanzadeh

Since the early 2000s, the Iranian photographer Samad Ghorbanzadeh has tapped into fantasy and the surreal to create scenarios that appear almost dreamlike. At first glance, these fictional and surreal landscapes may seem quiet and serene on the surface, yet the more one looks at them there is an eerie feeling lurking within the images that give a sensation of the “calm before the storm” which can be seen within his series The Lost Ones. In addition to his photographs emitting a nightmarish aura with the use of dark tones, lighting and locations, Samad provokes though and self-reflection. Majority of the time, his subject’s face are hidden or obscured which permits the viewer to place themselves within the scene that Samad has fabricated.
                  Furthermore, when appreciating Samad’s work, one cannot but recall the surreal paintings by Salvador Dali, with his solitary subjects lost in these empty wastelands. In his series Daily Dream (alternatively known as Fictional Reality) the imagery within it has some reference to Dali’s Metamorphoses of Narcissus with the cracked egg and the man emerging from it, along with the clock which references to various of Dali’s paintings. Regardless if they are intentional references or not, I find these similarities to add to the emotion as one relates to the surrealism of the scene yet by making them in photomontages they create a conflict of reality within the viewer’s mind.
                  Overall, Samad Ghorbanzadeh works with both black and white photos along with color, but in my opinion, the monochromatic images containing a stronger unsettling ambience that is within his theme. Although these photos don’t belong to any period of time, neither to the past nor to the future, yet they seem to contain fragments of mankind’s destroyed memories or predictions to what it is to be expected of one’s future.

The Lost Ones series 
Daily Dream series
Daily Dream series

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