PRINT January 2006

Peyman Rahimi

MONSTERS TEND TO BE little more than imaginative amalgamations of real beings, as one realizes when reading, say, Gustave Flaubert’s Temptation of Saint Anthony, in which the author enumerates a litany of classical monsters (including the minotaur, a combination of man and bull, and the centaur, man and horse) and then concocts a few new ones still lacking names. In principle, such a mythological zoo would be infinitely rich in its juxtapositions and aggregations. But as Jorge Luis Borges points out in The Book of Imaginary Beings—even while digging deep into the annals of classical and Oriental literature himself—the zoology of dreams is far poorer than the zoology of reality. Perhaps that explains why Peyman Rahimi, a young Iranian artist, has taken as his main subject the fantastic garden inhabited by creatures that, for all their odd, extraordinarily colorful, and overly ornamental

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