Ebrahim Haqiqi reproduces world-famous artworks in new collection “Coronaism”

May 27, 2020 - 18:24

TEHRAN – The 70-year-old Iranian graphic designer Ebrahim Haqiqi has reproduced some world-famous artworks in his new collection “Coronaism”, which is on view in an online exhibit at Golestan Gallery in Tehran.

He has picked works by Vincent van Gogh, Rene Magritte, Francisco Goya, Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo and Edvard Munch, having added a number of elements representing the coronavirus days such as face masks.

“In the last days of 1398 (Iranian calendar year March 2019-2020) when the home quarantine was observed across the country and we were not able to take a trip and were forced to stay at home, I began to make these paintings and publish them on my Instagram,” he told the Persian service of Honaronline. 

“Those days there were shortages of masks, plastic gloves and disinfectant solutions and the outbreak of COVID-19 was much more serious,” he said. 

“In those days I noticed that some artists had remade some world-famous paintings. The idea was also shaped in my mind to work on some of the world’s famous paintings and reproduce new designs. I first began to work on one painting by Rene Magritte, because I am very much interested in works by Magritte and had worked on a selection of his works in a collection of posters in the years between 1969 and 1974,” he explained.

“I thought how I can represent the elements related to the new virus in these works better and noticed that portraits and close-up paintings had more potential for reproductions, and elements such as face masks can be seen better in these works,” he said.

“In some of the reproductions at the very beginning I only added images of masks, plastic gloves and containers of disinfectant solutions, but later I thought more senses need to be added and only symbolic elements are not enough. Feelings such as loneliness, anxiety, and isolation, which were common in every individual around the world, are missing and I thought I would like to reflect them all in my reproductions,” he noted.

“Therefore I began further investigations into works by other artists and chose works with more open and wider spaces, and chose works that reflected these feelings. I did not intend to just depend on humor and satire, although the entire collection is a bitter satire that reflects our memories of the coronavirus days,” he said. 

“It was important for me to select works by world-famous artists so that visitors could easily recognize the works and discover that I have worked on works by other artists. However, some criticized asking why I had reproduced works done by others. Initially, they didn’t have any understanding of my goal but gradually they caught on to the main idea,” he mentioned. 

He said that he found the images by searching on the Internet and he also scanned some from books and images that he had.

“I tried not to ruin the original work because they belong to the masters of art and I have great respect for them; I only meant to add this new virus and pour the feelings of man into the world-famous works,” he explained.

Haqiqi further added that he preferred to display his works in a gallery where visitors could come and see the works, but due to the pandemic, he decided to display them in an online exhibit at Golestan Gallery.

“I made a collection of 100 works and showed them to some of my friends who finally chose 50 for the exhibit. Each painting is created in three copies which are offered for sale,” he said.

He said that he is also planning to select 70 of the works for a book he plans to publish in the future.

Haqiqi received a lifetime achievement award from the 37th Fajr Film Festival in January 2019. He received the award for the posters he has created for Iranian movies over his career spanning for over a half a century.

Photo: A remake of René Magritte’s “The Son of Man” by Iranian graphic designer Ebrahim Haqiqi from his collection Coronaism that is on display in an exhibit at Golestan Gallery in Tehran. 


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