Since its establishment in 2004 the Magic of Persia foundation has long striven to promote and disseminate Iranian contemporary art and culture abroad. Yearly gala dinners, auctions and exhibitions have taken place in Dubai, London and Los Angeles, presenting both established and emerging Iranian artists the chance to show their work to a greater audience. Next weekend, Magic of Persia returns to the Cote d’Azur with an auction preview at Kamil Art Gallery in Monaco on 27 July followed by an auction and gala dinner on 28 July at the Yacht Club in Monaco in association with Christie’s.
“This year we have put ourselves to the test by organizing two Fundraising Galas in six weeks in Two different Cities, Monaco and Los Angeles,” says founder Shirley Elghanian. “The Tale of Two Cities has attracted the attention of our supporters and collectors from East to West. The 70 artworks that will be going under the hammer by Christies in Monaco and Bonhams in LA are carefully selected to adhere to the taste of the attendees in each cities. We are confident that A Tale of Two Cities will be a huge success!”
Nima Behnoud. Everything Ice Cream. 2010. Acrylic and Fabric Pigment on Canvas. 86 x 122 cm.
Auction highlights include works by Afsoon, Fereydoun Ave, Nima Behnoud, Hojat Amani, Bahar Sabzevari, Peybak, Mehdi Farhadian, Shadi Ghadirian, Abbas Kiarostami, Farbod Mehr, Melika Shafahi, Shirin Tabeshfar, Siavash Talaei, and Mohammad Bozorgi, among others.
Also in Monaco, in April 2018, Magic of Persia presented an exhibition entitled Contemporary Iran, revealing a historical review on the relation between art and the public in Iran, in collaboration with Art Monte-Carlo. The show displayed archival material as well as artworks by such names as Parviz Tanavoli, Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Farhad Ahrarnia, Bita Ghezelayagh, Samira Alikhanzadeh, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Bahman Jalali, Koroush Shishegaran, as well as documentation from Vali Mahlouji’s Archaeology of the Final Decade.
Hojat Amani. Angels Series. 2010. Inkjet Print on Canvas. 110 x 80cm. Edition 2 of 5.
The exhibition explored how since the inception of Modernism in Iran during the 1940s numerous artists as well as art movements sought to challenge the gap between art and the public. The figures pertaining to this period looked at how art could relate to the masses and everyday life. Movements which focused on such ideas included the Avant-Garde and Saqqākhāneh movements in the 1970s as well as those during the post Iran-Iraq War in the 1990s through to the present.
Peybak. Abrakan. 2018. Mixed Media on Paper. 180 x 150cm.
Magic of Persia has created a platform for artists living inside and outside of Iran to have their voices heard through the powerful and universal language of art. Magic of Persia attests that all artwork has been generously donated 100 per cent to Magic of Persia by artists, galleries and collectors. It further mentions that the auction of the artworks is the main source of funding for the MOP programmes and beneficiaries.