Maryam Najd

Crown Gallery

Maryam Najd was born in Tehran in 1965 and left Iran at the age of twenty-six to study and live in Antwerp. Just old enough to remember the Islamic Revolution, she grew up in a country beset by tumultuous events, where artistic expression was severely limited. The isolation in which Najd was forced to work had at least one advantage: She could work on her style undisturbed. Her recent show was called “GET GIRL, KILL BADDIES, SAVE PLANET,” and those words appeared in the first painting viewers encountered upon entering the gallery. Superimposed on a portrait of a naive- but harmless-looking young man, the text in Self-portrait, 2006–2007, might be quoting or paraphrasing one of the subject’s comic-book superheroes, but there is also a disturbing association with the fantasies of suicide bombers. Then again, one person’s hero is another’s terrorist, just as a military engagement can be called

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