Untitled (Sword of Ali)

Faramarz Pilaram Iranian

Not on view

Despite Pilaram's close adherence to the conventions of the votive image, the erotic and the holy merge irreverently in this work. Seven distinct margins frame the central image of Dhu al-fiqar. Pilaram’s addition of two dark half-moons under the sword’s guard and his distinct rendering of the pommel transforms one end of the sword into a schematic face and the sword itself into a phallic substitute. A metallic orb situated behind the sword and at the true center of the composition and a smaller, red-colored orb next to the bottom interior right-hand corner recall his use of this motif as a symbol of the sun in other works from the same period.

Untitled (Sword of Ali), Faramarz Pilaram (Iranian, born Tehran 1937–1982 Tehran), Metallic paints, black ink stamps, graphite, oil pastel, and red paint on paper, Persia, Iran, Middle East

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