Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce Roya Farassat: As Near as Memory, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from February 26 through April 9, 2022. An artist reception will be held on Saturday, February 26th, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Born in Iran, Roya Farassat’s work is concerned with existential questions and the human condition woven from her personal history and rich cultural heritage. An experience of displacement shaped by complex political, social and religious forces continues to inform her identity and work. Rendered in heavy impasto, Farassat’s portrait series, The Forgotten Children, presents subjects fabricated from her imagination and memory, outcasts of society whose distorted features convey a humanity lost and conjure a sense foreignness. While her subjects may seem alien to us, their intentions, emotions, and desires are clear. These caricatures of the human psyche are disconcerting, but comical in their familiarity, too. In balancing discomfort with humor, she allows us to identify with these figures—a reminder for having empathy in a society that often neglects it.

Accompanying the portraits is a series of landscapes, entitled Pilgrimage. The landscapes are intimate scenes suspended in solitude and sentimentality, and evoke fleeting memories of her childhood. Serenity and chaos are omnipresent and intersect within the richly textured canvases paralleling the magnificence and unpredictability of nature. Tempestuous scenes replete with billowing plumes of smoke, thick dark clouds, and casted shadows are juxtaposed with the tranquility of golden horizons and moonlit terrain. Representation is secondary to expressing the feeling emanating from the landscape itself. In recalling the Romantic paintings of the late 18th century with their tumultuous seas, shipwrecks and stormy skies, they serve as a metaphor for the artist’s own tale of survival.

For Farassat, this work represents a spiritual journey of self-discovery and coming to terms with her experience, as well as a means of validating her own presence within the world. Together, the portraits and landscapes tap into our collective humanity and guide us toward a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Roya Farassat received her BFA in 1986 from Parsons School of Art and Design, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited, including the Queens Museum of Art, NY; The Edward Hopper House, Nyack, NY; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, WI; Taubman Museum, Roanoke, VA; Ormond Memorial Art Museum, Ormond Beach, FL; Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Winter Park, FL; and Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee, WI; among others. She was awarded residencies from Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY and The Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92 Street Y, New York, NY. Farassat was nominated for the Victoria and Albert Museum Jameel Prize in 2011 and the MOP Foundation Contemporary Art Prize, London in 2009. Her work has been reviewed and written about by The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The Boston Globe, The Financial Times, artcritical, Hyperallergic, W Magazine, and Flaunt Magazine. Roya Farassat lives and works in New York.