Loading...

Truths Told 

Florian Meier-Aichen and Reza Derakshani

Wednesday, Sep 19 2007

Florian Meier-Aichen’s photographs are of places, not occurrences, but the way he makes his pictures — not just shoots them, but treats them in between shutter click and print-out — gives the places he documents an eerie momentousness. He favors subjects that have become photographic tropes: seascapes, mountain vistas, industrial buildings (as well as, interestingly, blueprints). But for all his clearly loving references to photographic history, Meier-Aichen insists on looking at the world like a painter, free to alter color, heighten surface incident, muddy or sharpen distinction between figure and ground, and otherwise play with what he and his camera have seen. Meier-Aichen, who splits his time between Cologne and L.A., regards his subjects as visual monuments, a point of view particular to German photography for more than a century. But he eschews the “truth” of silver-nitrate or Cibachrome clarity for much more nuanced, even impressionistic textures, colors and, yes, subtle changes in the subjects themselves. The results are no less imposing, but they are now suffused with an uneasy opulence that questions “truth,” and yet signals a craving for it — a “truthiness” that’s as much Platonic argument as Colbertian critique.

Painters stubbornly hold on to the “truth” of paint itself, even when painting pictures of things, and that facture powers Reza Derakshani’s works on canvas and paper. This commitment to paint on Derakshani’s part is all the more intriguing as he is best known on this side of the globe as a musician — one of the leading fusion artists playing traditional Iranian instruments. But he is as true to his brushstroke as to his beat, and in his art he displays an equally compelling commitment to image and material. You can choose to read Derakshani’s rough-hewn, delicately colored arrangements of lines and clots as just that, or you can recognize them as the boughs and fruit of Iran’s beloved pomegranate tree. No mistaking, though, the craggy triangle that also obsesses Derakshani for anything but a mountain, albeit stylized into a veritable emblem of mountainness. Florian Meier-Aichen at MOCA in the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd., Tues.-Wed., Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (310) 289-5223. Reza Derakshani at Seyhoun, 9007 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd., Tues.-Sat. noon-5 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (310) 858-5984.

—Peter Frank

Related Stories

  • Picnic Shopping

    The word "picnic," fittingly derived from the French, evokes summer and leisure - and, most crucially, food. A beach picnic may just be the best kind of picnic, especially in L.A., where the options are plentiful. A picnic brings a level of festivity that is difficult to resist, whether on...
  • Rooting For Iran? 9

    Watching Iran play in the World Cup over the last few weeks, I found myself grappling with a series of contradictory emotions. As an Iranian-American who was born in the United States, at times I've wished that I could claim another heritage. Like the time in 2006, just months before...
  • Omid Mines Music From the Streets Of Iran

    Sample digging and oil drilling have more in common than you'd expect. As the casket drops on 2013, most surface-level treasure has long been picked clean. The odds of discovering an oil well in your backyard are only marginally better than those of browsing the funk, jazz and soul sections...
  • Violence in Westwood 4

    A car-to-car beef preceded an officer-involved shooting today at a Westwood pro-Israel rally attended by Palestine sympathizers, authorities said. A "verbal and physical altercation" took place between the occupants of two vehicles at the end of the protest outside the Westwood Federal Building, an L.A. County Sheriff's Department official told...
  • Discostan Features Music From "Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay"

    The strong smell of sandalwood-infused Indian Chandan Dhoop incense fills Arshia Haq's Echo Park apartment as she gets ready for the night. She has recently arrived back in the city after working on a music documentary in India and Pakistan, and the jet lag hasn't subsided - nor has that...
  • Florian Meier-Aichen and Reza Derakshani

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Lina in L.A. -- Tiki Oasis
    Pin-up girls, beatnik boys and tiki lovers from L.A. and beyond made a splash at San Diego's Crowne Plaza Hotel, which hosted the annual Tiki Oasis event, this year themed "Beat Tiki" with a groovy "60s beat" thrust. The wild weekender took over the grounds with colorful cocktails, non-stop pool and room parties, fashion shows, seminars, shopping and live entertainment including burlesque, bands and more.

    See also: Tiki Oasis, a Convention for Fans of Retro Tropical Kitsch
  • Lina in L.A. -- Swinghouse Studios' Farewell to Hollywood Soiree
    A rocking, raging night was had by all when Swinghouse Studios marked a big move Saturday night. The legendary Hollywood recording and rehearsal space, which has been home to big bands and wild bashes for two decades (first on Cahuenga Blvd. and then on Willoughby Ave. near Santa Monica Blvd.) will soon move to Atwater Village. Food trucks, drinks, and great live sets by Prima Donna, Dorothy, The Beta Machine and Alexa Melo highlighted the bittersweet revelry.
  • Beatlemania at the Flying Morgans' Mansion
    In honor of the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania the Flying Morgans had a Beatle prom this last Friday to celebrate Molly, Bonnie and Gary's Birthday with 400 of their closest friends. All photos by Star Foreman.