Amir H. Fallah



Amir H. Fallah is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Amir received his B.F.A. from The Maryland Institute College of Art and his M.F.A from UCLA in 2005. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Exhibits include shows at The Nerman Museum, Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Sharjah Biennial 2009, LA Louver, The Third Line, Gallery Wendi Norris, Charlie James Gallery, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, 18th Street Art Center, Cherry And Martin,  Frederieke Taylor gallery, Mary Goldman Gallery among others.

He has been a visiting lecturer at a range of respected institutions, including Columbia College, USC, UCLA, Cleveland Institute of Art, California State University, University Of New Mexico, Otis College Of Art,  and Maryland Institute College of Art.


"Amir H. Fallah approaches his current paintings as an investigative, analytical historian, though a knowingly imprecise one. He is interested in truthfulness and limitations, and his current body of work grapple with those issues in a way that almost seems backwards: by taking the mistakenly truthful photograph and converting it back into the always suspect, uncontestably subjective medium of painting.

Fallah begins his process with field research. He enters people’s homes--until recently, these have primarily been homes of friends and acquaintances--and assembles “evidence” of their stories and identities from among their things. He particularly gravitates toward those mundane objects that seem loaded with sentimental meaning; maybe he’ll pick out a worn afghan, an idiosyncratic plant, a figurine, a doll or running shoes. Then he arranges these selected objects around his subjects, and photographs them along with the stuff of their lives. Already at this stage, he has edited and shaped the image of his subjects and begun to interpret and create his own histories. Sometimes, subjects appear in dramatically Neoclassical poses, lounging across a wooden table or perched on a pedestal.

It is clear from the outset that Fallah will be the final arbiter of how personal histories are told. He will have editorial control and will not attempt to beautify or flatter his subjects. But such freedom brings some danger, and to protect his subjects from being implicated in his own misinterpretations or far-flung imaginings, he usually cloaks them, covering or at least surrounding their faces and much of their bodies with fabric.

In the studio, only photographic evidence of the encounter between artist and subjects is used as a source. The artist’s own process and proclivities influence the paintings as much, if not more, than those initial images. Because he layers his canvases with paper before even beginning and works back and forth between collage and painting, canvases quickly become dense, visceral and idiosyncratic. They also reflect his own cultural alliances: references to Persian miniatures may appear in the form of careful borders along the edge of a canvas, and blankets may start to resemble the long veils associated with Eastern cultures.

Does the imposing of the artist’s self on to the image-making process make it egotistical? If the only insight art can really communicate is about its own limited ability to tell the truth, is it still offering something of value? If nothing more, obsessive consideration of truth’s limitations can help us understand each other, and that’s no small feat."