Born Karbala, Iraq, 1965. Lives Tehran, Iran
British Museum: 2011, 6033.1
Maryam and Edward Eisler collection of Iranian Art at the British Museum
Sadegh Tirafkan draws on historical Iranian imagery to investigate issues of identity, gender and culture. Tirafkan often incorporates self-portraiture into his work, which has the role of the male in traditional Iranian culture as one of its main themes. Here, hundreds of individual portraits make up this digital Persian carpet, which the artist intends as a comment on population growth in Iran. The photographs no longer function as individual likenesses. They are treated as raw material, like the tiles of a mosaic or the scraps of fabric that make up a patchwork quilt. Tirafkan defies the specificity of the people pictured and uses them to form abstract patterns.