Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi, ‘Mist’, 2011, Leila Heller Gallery

About Shoja Azari and Shahram Karimi

The filmmaker Shoja Azari and the painter Shahram Karimi began their collaboration in 2006, projecting videos onto painted canvases to explore the potential of and engage the tension between the two media. Their “Silence” series, for example, presents abstract films of natural environments over hyperrealistic paintings of the same scenes. At times one medium overpowers the other, and at others they are in balance, but together they bring to life an otherwise static image and probe the visual qualities of painting and film. Outside of co-authored works, Azari and Karimi have worked together on installations such as Blazing Grace, which addresses the Gulf War and alludes to hell and purgatory. In it, Azari has reframed scenes from Werner Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness and Karimi showcases hyperrealistic, cinematic paintings of vibrant fires, soldiers, and military tanks.

Iranian, 1958 and 1957