Parham Ghalamdar

18 January - 29 February 2020

Workplace Foundation is excited to present the first solo exhibition of Parham Ghalamdar.

Painted in intense acidic colour, surreal forms and structures inhabit desolate and empty landscapes. Uncanny and strange these objects adhere to rigorous placement, assimilating elements drawn from a diverse range of Western and Middle-Eastern Art History such as Caravaggio, Goya, Bouguereau, Soviet Socialist realism, graffiti, pop culture and traditional Persian miniatures. 

Parham Ghalamdar’s works switch between the aesthetics of realism and the cartoon. Through this absurdist strategy Ghalamdar obfuscates narrative enabling the painting to stand alone, resistant to a didactic reading. The considered, rational structuring of his paintings stand as a counterpoint to the oppressive weight of dogmatic ideology that Parham experienced in his homeland. 

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1994, Parham Ghalamdar studied Printing and Media at the Art University in Tehran. Parham was a founding member of ELF Crew, the first graffiti collective in Iran. ELF became known for their transgressive and coded resistance to the regime and their liberal progressive subculture. Arrested multiple times for graffiti Parham was eventually detained indefinitely in the West of Iran in 2014 where interrogations became more forceful and the authorities began to investigate his associations and social networks more thoroughly. Fearing for his life (his sexuality, if exposed, would be punishable by death) Parham managed to escape Iran, travelling through Asia before being granted asylum in the UK. In 2019 he completed his BA in Fine Art, Painting at Manchester School of Art. 

Previous exhibitions include Stretch, P.S Mirabel Gallery, Manchester; Graffiti, Vandalism and Protest in Iran: An Archival Curation, People’s History Museum, Manchester; Super Brain, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, UK; Kamil Gallery, Monaco; Art, social space and public discourse in Iran, Coulter Art Gallery, Stanford, USA; Contemporary Iranian Art, Sotheby’s Los Angeles; The Mine Gallery, Dubai, UAE; Affenfaust Gallery, Hamburg; Few scenes from paradise, Atbin Gallery, Tehran. Parham Ghalamdar lives and works in Manchester, UK