Born in a land that is ironically the cradle of civilization and presently the ultimate embodiment of human degradation, Iraq, I have of necessity inherited a host of issues that find expression in my work. Female oppression, honor killings and war continue to claim my attention. Filled with desire, I paint for redemption and salvation, hoping one day humanity will witness a profound change.
Technically I work with oils on unprimed linen canvas that I prepare myself insuring the quality and durability in each step from mounting to finish. Using distinct two-dimensional tones of vibrant color covered with detailed designs my figures, mainly female, appear as transformed beings with prominent timeworn eyes dwelling in an ambiguous existence of despair
The semi realistically rendered figures with elongated necks represent an archetypical image of the swan. Graceful and elegant, they move through the landscapes of horror facing the calamities of male dominance. Where suffering is great, so is the need for transcendence.
Through an inherent childlike innocence in movement and form, in contrast with the harsh reality of war, these highly figurative yet two-dimensional personas represent the dichotomy of agony and gaiety, the duality of dreams and reality, peace and war. These surreal documentations of truth are the essence of my creative representation.
Sweeping the audience into the eyes of my characters while simultaneously inversing the scene into a celebration of the various cultures in our world, I endeavor to refocus the felt pain into an investment in the human capability to overcome and prevail.
Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, 1981 and currently lives and works in the US. She is a graduate of the Academia di Arte e Design di Firenze, Italy.
Working mainly in oils, Kahraman focuses on qualities of line, depth and detail. Using two-dimensional tones of vibrant color and semi realistic renderings of her swan-like figures, she challenges issues of gender, honor killings and war.
Harmonizing references from Japanese art, Islamic art, and Italian masters, Kahraman offers an aesthetic awareness that honors diversity and offers the possibility of redemption and empowerment.
Her most recent solo exhibition was Volta NY solo art fair. Recent group shows include; a two person show with Thierry Goldberg gallery NY; "Unveiled: New art from the Middle east" with the Saatchi gallery in Chelsea, London; "Life Drawing" The Third Line Gallery Dubai; and “Local Produce” Lisa Sette gallery in Arizona.
May 6-June 13 2010
solo show, Frey Norris, San Francisco
Nov 5 - Jan 17 2009
Taswir – Pictorial Mappings of Islam of Modernity
group show, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Oct 8-Nov 15 2009
Echo: Eight San Francisco artists respond to surrealist masterwork
group show, Frey Norris, San Francisco
June 26-july 25 2009
group show, Paradise Row Gallery, London
May 6-June 13 2009
solo show, The Third Line Gallery, Doha
March 18-21 2009
March 16-May 16 2009
March 5-8 2009
solo art fair, New York
Jan 30-May 6 2009
UNVEILED: New art from the middle east
group show, Saatchi gallery, Chelsea London
The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.