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Paradigm Gallery is pleased to announce Licking the Thorns of a Rose, a debut solo exhibition of new work by artist Roxana Azar (they/them/she/her). Along with their takeover of the main gallery space, Azar will transform two street-facing windows with unique installations featuring vinyl and acrylic works. The show’s title came to Azar in a dream, illuminating the surreal beauty of their work, and the contradictions and complexities within. Mesmerizing suncatchers emit a spectrum of colorful light across the gallery walls and beyond as ethereal text-based imagery captures the imagination. Azar’s new work marks a continuation of their biophilic practice while expanding into new techniques in printmaking, collage, and photography. Licking the Thorns of a Rose will be open to the public from February 25th through March 20th, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday, February 25th from 5:30 – 8:00 PM.
Drawing inspiration from plant life and the natural world, Azar found new meaning in their relationships with plants over the course of the pandemic. Symbolizing both the quiet pain of isolation and the solace of solitude, the plant-like and bodily forms in the artist’s work take on different meanings and associations in each piece. House plants, like all living things, necessitate care and patience – a ritualized practice that characterizes the artist’s approach to making work. The foundation of Azar’s multidisciplinary process begins with photography and its reconstruction through collage and digital manipulation. From abstract photo collages, Azar creates photo sculptures, built of printed layers of translucent, transparent, and iridescent materials. The synthesis of image, material, and in some works, text, is activated by the interplay between the work and its environment. Each encounter with Azar’s work is an ephemeral experience orchestrated by the specific conditions of the moment, mirroring the transient phenomenology of our dreams and the subconscious.
In the bleakest season, and in the third year of the global pandemic, the vibrance and vitality of Azar’s works serve as antidotes to the darkness that surrounds us all. Colorful, biomorphic forms illuminate the gallery and reflect onto the street outside, casting out the shadows with prismatic, shimmering light.
Learn more about the exhibition here.