New York: Denny Dimin Gallery
By Paul Laster
Best known for his unique approach to portraiture, Amir H. Fallah has made a name for himself not by painting incredible likenesses of people but by revealing who they are through the objects that they possess. Exploring issues of family, identity, and representation, the Tehran-born, Los Angeles-based artist has made several series of colorful, collage-like paintings in which the sitters are shrouded in patterned fabrics amid their most prized possessions.
Beginning with commissioned paintings of collectors who collaborated with the artist on the choice of objects, Fallah’s portraiture subsequently delved into the lives of immigrants in Southern California. Since 2019, however, Fallah’s practice has taken a turn toward the appropriation of found images—which he has been compiling in a database—to explore his personal history. At Denny Dimin Gallery, his exhibition “Better a Cruel Truth Than a Comfortable Delusion,” featuring eight new canvases (all 2020), offered a variety of visual narratives with images, symbols, and objects that speak to the artist’s lived experiences.