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A few flowers for Mahsa. Acrylic and oil on paper, 70×100 cm.
This unique painting is a tribute to Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old girl who died after spending three days in custody of Iran’s morality police, arrested for improperly wearing her hijab.
Mahsa started a revolution by her death which spurred thousands to take to the streets in protests, demanding an end to violence and discrimination toward women in the country.
Ιn addition to expressing condolences for the brutal death of Mahsa, the flowers play a central role in the composition. Their free dispersion on the hijab and their visual diversity symbolize the pluralistic but fragile beauty of female nature that should be honored with freedom and great respect.
Mahsa’s face is formed by concentric circles that turn at their center into a shooting target, a connotation for police violent action. The way the face was painted gives the work its special identity. This “op-tical” approach is one of the characteristic techniques used by the artist in order to intrigue the viewer and arouse visual interest.
The color differentiation on the girl’s body, covered by her expressive hands, implies that Mahsa remains alive and leads the revolution that broke out in Iran. This contrasts with her passive posture which gives her a childlike innocence.
However, this work is a complaint beyond the specific crime, referring to the discrimination and violence practiced against women in many countries of the world.
Keywords: Mahsa, Amini, Iran, hijab, woman, flowers, blue, optical, target, death, revolt, crime