Located in a busy district of downtown Los Angeles, The Space by Advocartsy is a new gallery devoted to the promotion of Iranian art. It will act as the permanent home for the nomadic curatorial project Advocartsy Art Brief, founded by Roshi Rahnama “to address the gap between the art community in Los Angeles and the Iranian contemporary art scene.” For its inaugural exhibition in October, The Space showed the work of Shadi Yousefian, an artist working in photography and collage, exploring the subjects of cultural identity and immigration.
Rahnama launched Advocartsy in 2015 out of what says was a “necessity.” As the group expanded their roster of artists, they realised the importance of having their own space. Moreover, they desired to educate the public about Iran and its art. “Art is an effective way of educating and expanding a people’s impressions of other cultures,” says Rahnama. “It gives you the opportunity to communicate, transcend and disarm any specific region or border. There is no better time than now for art to bring people together. The challenge with representing Iranian artists in today’s political climate is real.” Rahnama believes now couldn’t be a better time to inaugurate the space. “The Los Angeles art scene has seen such a shift in the recent years that bringing awareness to and engagement with Iranian contemporary art in the Los Angeles art community was an essential addition to the landscape.”
Shadi Yousefian next to her mixed media work at The Space by Advocartsy
The disjointed figures in Yousefian’s abstract work illustrate the immigrant issue in American politics today. Upside down and divided heads made in a mixture of materials point to the timely and universal theme of how to understand “the other.” “Her intimate combination of personal experience with social and political issues results in a skillfully confrontational energy utilising minimalism, photography and collage as a way to mediate that encounter,” adds Rahnama.
In January 2018 The Space will have a solo exhibition of multimedia-based artist Pouya Afshar. In February, it will show the photographs, works on paper and videos of Sepideh Salehi. Rahnama is also in the process of planning future collaborations directly with artists and galleries in Iran for further programming next year. It’s about fostering a dialogue for Iranian art in Los Angeles, and one that Rahnama feels is lacking: “Despite current efforts and museum interest, there is still a lot of room for bringing attention to Iranian Contemporary art, therefore making it necessary for us to continue our mission in full force.”