Tala Madani: Shitty Disco

Art, Painting Free
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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Some people think the sun shines out of their arse. But it’s not just the sun that emerges from backsides in Iranian-American artist Tala Madani’s paintings – it’s spotlights that illuminate dancefloors, it’s primitive cave-painting-esque smears of paint, it’s projections of reclining nudes (actually, that one comes out of a penis). 

Madani’s dark nightclub scenes are filled with dancing punters lost in the music, standing in awe of bright streams of light erupting from all sorts of naughty places. In some images a bald man chucks a bucket of liquid at anal projections, other canvases are smeared in thick, gross smudges of brown paint. All the characters are flabby vulnerable men, all are made to look like idiots. 

This is some seriously ludicrous, brutal and surreal painting. It’s a world of bald men, poop, twisted fetishised imagery and stomach-turning sexuality. You could read it as an aggressive take down of male self-importance, a reversal of how women are viewed by male painters, an attack on gender dominance. Or maybe Madani is seeing how far she can push things into obscene ridiculousness and still get taken seriously. These paintings are so dumb they might just be smart. 

Maybe she’s having us all on. But even if she is, this is one artist worth making an arse out of yourself for. 



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