Born Tehran, Iran, 1970. Lives Tehran
British Museum: 2009, 6031.1
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Abbas Kowsari began his career as a photojournalist for the Tehran Times in 1994 and is currently Senior Picture Editor for Shargh, a popular reformist title.
This photograph made in nothern Iraq presents a portrait within a portrait. The figure of a peshmerga (a Kurdish combatant) is tightly framed to exclude his face. Instead, the face of rock musician Bryan Adams, on the soldier’s T-shirt, fills a central portion of the composition. The faded black-and-white image is surrounded by saturated colours and brightly gleaming metal. The contrast reinforces the incongruity between warfare in Iraq and western pop culture.