Aida Laleian

Howard Yezerski Gallery

Aida Laleian’s surrealistic photographs present a series of composite mythic creatures, each combining the portrait head and/or torso of the artist with the body of a taxidermic specimen of a wild beast. Although Laleian has focused her energies for the past eight years primarily on photographic self-portraiture, the modern mythic hybrids she presents in this exhibition, entitled “Atavistic Beasts,” constitute a departure from her signature compound self-portraits.

Laleian combines specimens photographed primarily in natural history museums or from nature magazines with close-up self-portraits that emphasize her exotic dark features and bared upper torso. The seamless illusions that result depend on extensive manipulations—rephotographed collage, projected imagery, adjustments to the negatives, and elaborate printing techniques. A schooled printmaker and painter, Laleian relies on

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