Poking Fun at the Patriarchy: A Review of Orkideh Torabi at the MCA
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago continues its Atrium Project series with work by the Iranian-born, Chicago-based artist Orkideh Torabi, entitled "Peach House's 5 Bucks Morning Special." It uses dye on cotton fabric, which is then transferred to vinyl. The piece depicts a men-only public bathhouse, a representation of male characters in a traditional cultural context at several times larger than life-size.
Torabi has for many years created unique artworks inspired by the traditional elements and scene-setting concepts of Persian miniature. She uses techniques of Persian miniature that enable her to show both the interior and exterior spaces simultaneously. This allows her to become a set of eyes positioned outside, as if on a rooftop, directing their gaze inside, into the bathhouse. The exterior backgrounds feature clouds, skies and mountains similar to Persian miniature, while the interior space is filled with a range of blue hues and shapes inspired by mosaics and geometrical forms of Persian architecture and painting. The larger frame is divided into several smaller two-dimensional rectangles encompassing the figures.
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