Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi:
Magic of Light


September 29, 2013 – February 14, 2014

Mana Contemporary presents, in collaboration with Leila Heller Gallery, Magic of Light, a collaborative show by internationally renowned artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari and painter Shahram Karimi.


Among the works on view in the first floor gallery are a groundbreaking four-piece series titled Silence. Carefully filmed abstract images of natural landscapes are projected onto canvases that have been painted in a precise, hyper-realistic manner, each depicting one season of the year. The “video paintings” produce subtle movements and bring to life the flat surface, thereby suggesting an element of real time onto an otherwise frozen moment. The show also includes There Are No Non Believers in Hell, a video installation informed by the timelessness of Renaissance art seen through the lens of contemporary existential anxiety. The video work, projected on two adjoining walls, creates a powerful yet disturbing experience: famous Old Master paintings burning, including Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas and Rembrandt’s Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac. As the paintings burn, the viewer hears evangelical radicals preaching about hell as a reality.

Azari is an artist and filmmaker who has been living in New York since 1983. His works have been exhibited globally, with solo shows throughout Europe and North America. Azari has participated in international exhibitions at Museums such as the Haus der Kulturen in Germany and the MUSAC in Spain, and at world renowned exhibitions such as the 55th Venice Biennale. His works are in the permanent collections of various Museums and foundations, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles and the Farjam Collection in Dubai. Since 2006, Azari has also been collaborating with painter Karimi on video paintings, a medium which explores the juncture between film and fine arts.


Press Release

Summer, 2007-2008.
Winter, 2007-2008.
Autumn, 2007-2008.
Spring, 2007-2008.
Hell is No Joke 3, 2010.
High Noon, 2011.

Mana Spotlight: Magic of Light