Tala Madani

Interview with Frieze
“The Dancer” Video

About the Artist

Born 1981 in Tehran, Iran

Tala Madani’s paintings, drawings, and stop-motion animations construct grotesque worlds and fantastical scenes in which the boneheadedness of men reaches a fever pitch. Madani tends to depict her male protagonists as disemboweled, humiliated, and pathetic entities, quickly rendered figures that leak fluids, engage in curious homosocial rites of passage, and inflict intolerable pain upon one another.

The blunt inelegance of Madani’s irredeemable men merge with a style of painting reminiscent of art-historical legacy figures such as Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler, turning tropes of abstraction into bodily fluids that leave their mark on the canvas and heighten their grotesque humor. Madani’s stop-motion animations are similar in style and execution. Each minute of video consists of close to 2,500 still images quickly painted sequentially on a single piece of wood for a camera to record frame by frame. In sequence, the images begin a smeary movement across a plane, representing an imagined world that is insufferably soiled and replete with the markings of the ridiculous, however much it might resemble our real world.