Perfect Strangers- Solo Show At 18th Street Art Center

Residency & Exhibition:
January 12 – March 27, 2015

Perfect Strangers
18th Street Arts Center | Main Gallery
1639 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

For his Artist Lab Residency beginning January 12, 2015 at 18th Street Arts Center, LA-based painter and installation artist Amir H. Fallah turns a lens on his own city. Perfect Strangers is an ongoing project that Fallah has used to explore identity, place, and the life of objects in cities around the world. At 18th Street, Fallah will collaborate with young residents of Santa Monica to create site-specific portraits through painting, installation, photography, and sound. Exploring ideas of portrait/anti-portrait, Fallah offers a vision of community described through the deliberate arrangement of sentimental ephemera, collectedfrom subjects known and unknown, that embraces the nuances of the process by which we establish a sense of self.

In the Artist Lab, school children at area private and public schools will participate in Fallah’s project, creating group self-portraits focused on objects of significance to them, and collaborating to produce a portrait of their own imaginings of their future selves. Additionally, Fallah will work with students from nearby Santa Monica College to create an installation environment inside which painted and recorded portraits of his collaborators will be installed. These evolving installations at 18th Street will be complemented by a related body of work drawn from local estate sales, on view across town at Chinatown’s Charlie James Gallery in March 2015. This work completes the circle of life that Fallah represents in his project, resulting in portraits of identity constructed forensically on behalf of the deceased; contrasting with his portraits at 18th Street made collaboratively with youth to describe their lives as yet unknown.

Much like a historian or ethnographer, Fallah works with a diverse mix of local communities and groups to collect material evidence of their private and public lives and transform them into artworks. Portraits are composed using objects and textiles the subjects deem significant, to develop an exploration of the ways that identities are formed out of emotional associations with– and nostalgia for–specific products, objects, and places. Perfect Strangers re-interprets and gives new weight to everyday objects as active participants in the construction of self identification. Fallah’s compositions, both fluid and fragmented, embrace the moments when things do not quite align, and gives the work a sense of honesty that reveals the complex factors of identity which cannot be expressed through a simple corporeal rendering. Inviting the community and its objects into the Artist Lab, Fallah articulates a sense of regional identity that is ambiguous, yet informed by the perspective of an international artist who calls the Los Angeles metro area home.

From The Primitive To The Present- Solo Show At Charlie James Gallery


Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present From The Primitive To The Present, the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Amir H. Fallah with the gallery.
Fallah began working on this exhibition one year ago by searching through listings of estate sales taking place around Los Angeles. After picking a sale at random, he went on to purchase several objects belonging to a family who had lived in North Hollywood for a generation. Fallah left the sale with diaries, home movies, clothing and other objects chronicling the family’s personal history; he then spent the course of the next year sifting through these fragments of the family’s life, filling in the gaps where necessary, to create a narrative and build portraits of the family members through painting, sculpture and collage.

Fallah presents five large paintings for the show – abstracted portraits of the family members, who are never named and remain anonymous. The canvases have been crafted and in some cases shaped to resemble objects taken from the home. The figures in Fallah’s portraits are faceless, their forms are composed of fabric patterns, objects and details associated with each individual family member. Cast sculptures of personal mementos are exhibited on a large plinth, taking on a fossil-like quality as though excavated. Fallah has also created a collection of collages from old family photographs, using dried oil paint to obscure all recognizable features – the dried oil paint the remnants of the paint used in the portraits of the family members. Working simultaneously as private eye, archeologist and accidental stalker, Fallah creates new narratives that tell universal stories of love, life, and regret.

Concurrent to the exhibition at the gallery, Fallah is exhibiting a project at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica running from January 12th thru March 27th. Following the exhibition at Charlie James Gallery, Fallah travels to Overland Park, KS for a site-specific installation at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

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The folks over at Hypebeast spent the last three months in my studio documenting the process of me creating my biggest painting to date.


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Please join me at the reception on May 9th from 7-11pm.

Cindy Rucker Gallery
141 Attorney Street
New York, NY 10002 +1.212.388.9311

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The exhibit will run from May 10th- May 30th at JOYCE Pacific Place, Hong Kong.


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