05.16.13 8:45 AM ET
Reza Aramesh and the Eroticism of Violence
Mixing war photography, Renaissance-style sculpture, and peep-shows, Iranian-born artist Reza Aramesh has brought to New York a poignant series of installations forcing the viewer to confront assumptions about violence, culture and sex. With images taken from war photography, and made from handcrafted lime-wood and then painted with polychrome, the busts will be installed in five nightclubs in NYC: Marquee, No. 8, Santos Party House, Sugarland, and Bossa Nova Civic Club.
The men depicted in the sculptures are erotic not only in their physique and pose, but also because Aramesh has designed them to be viewed through a box with holes -- evoking an illicit feeling associated with pornography or peep shows. Also of note for the works are the plinths upon which the scultpures rest. Not merely slabs showcasing the sculptures, the plinths are covered in graffiti by New York-based Jason Castro.
Pictured above are the truly powerful sculptures, provacatively questioning how people in the modern world experience war through media. Of note in particular is the sad, lingering air around Dying Iranian Solder, 1987.