The female body, and its exposure to different social norms, is central to Moradkhani’s artistic project. Through her work, she is examining the experience of when we find ourselves insecure in our own bodies.
Unexpected images incorporate with intimate apparel, bringing humor and surprise in the layers beneath her art to reveal stories of shadowy images with the hope of leaving a mark on the audience. Two worlds–her birthplace and her current home–live alongside each other in Moradkhani’s work, joining at one point, intimately.
Her drawings on paper and body casts represent a perception of beauty from a non-western perspective in an international context. As a post-colonial woman artist, her work presents a feminist contrast to Edward Said’s “Orientalism”; womanhood in the post-revolution generation in Iran intertwines with conflicts between borders of tradition and (post) modernity.
Moradkhani’s colored pencil drawings of intimate lingerie, negligees and corsets explore connected narratives of pain and pleasure through repeated abstract patterns and images based on photojournalism, art photography, and iconography. She uses an aesthetic of pleasure to attract the viewer’s attention. Yet upon closer inspection, through the layers of colored pencil, past the details of lace and filigree, disruptive iconography becomes apparent, narrating inherited histories of nation and belief.
In her sculptural work, through the collaborative process of casting her nude body, she places herself in a vulnerable situation that challenges the beliefs she grew up with. She again mixes imagery —tattoos of memory and history—to emphasize both inter- and dis-connections between sexual representation and national identity, between the public and the private.