Full Metal Jacket

Power. Even the word itself is powerful. It stirs thoughts of dictators, overlords, control, influence and dominance. Its desirability has led to wars, both cold and actual, but also to great civilisations and the symbols of success that go with them.

By Charlie R Neyra

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Published: Fri 29 Apr 2011, 10:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:37 AM

Power has led artist Shahpour Pouyan to create a body of work inspired by its omnipresence, both in the past, present and imagined, leading to his current exhibition, ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ at the Lawrie Shabibi gallery in Al Quoz. The exhibition is split into three sections — the ‘Towers’ series of large, abstract paintings, the ‘Hooves’ series of hoof paintings, and the sculptures series, ‘Projectiles.’

Iranian artist Pouyan says he was inspired by extensive travels throughout his homeland. He noted patriarchal symbolism in much of the architecture, which he says seemed to be “raping the landscape, emphasising the culture of an era that lives in the past.”

The architecture he saw in Iran and elsewhere led to the ‘Towers’ series, which depicts how power, and the buildings that represent power, stand erect against nature, invading its space. He says, “I find architecture the most important visual expression of a civilisation.”

‘Hooves’ is also about power, but the powerful symbol that is the hoof, connected to proof of wealth. Lastly, the ‘Projectiles’ series is a fusion of traditional weaponry, such as armoury and helmets, to modern missiles and warheads, creating striking pieces that seem to evoke centuries of war, yet turn that into pieces of beauty.

Pouyan explains his fascination with war by saying how it’s been such a part of his life: “We grew up in a war. Our whole childhood was filled with the panic of bombardment. Then in school, they used to teach us military courses. After that, military service. TV was showing manoeuvres all the time, documentaries of war, martyrs museum… I have the right to be obsessed with war wares.”

The collection is on display at the Lawrie Shabibi gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Unit 21, Al Quoz, Dubai, until June 8.


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