Last seen in public at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in early 2018, Once Upon a Time by Farhad Moshiri (estimate: £220,000-280,000) will be leading Christie’s upcoming Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art Auction to be held online between 4-24 November 2020. The auction will offer around 50 works of art as well as a Middle Eastern Design section of 10 pieces assembled by Viktor Udzenija (stand-alone press release on 6 Oct).
Michael Jeha, Chairman Christie’s Middle East commented: “As market leaders, we continuously focus on reinventing our offerings. Together as team, including our wide net of regional consultants, we have been working on the new sales strategy for the autumn, which contains now four auctions in total.”
Caroline Louca-Kirkland, Managing Director Christie’s Middle East continued: “We mark this autumn season with a fresh strategy for the category, in alignment with the evolving and maturing regional market and focusing on strong quality works. Christie’s is taking initiative in cultivating interest through strong collaborations, with greater leverage from a regional and international standpoint. We will be infusing our traditional auctions with a design section and presenting a separate guest curated sale connecting the Middle East with other geographies. Furthermore, we will be holding our charity sale We Are All Beirut as well as the classic autumn Important Watches auction, which will be the highest value online sale in its category.”
Moshiri produced Once Upon a Time in 2011 as part of a series of four pieces, becoming the first Middle Eastern artist to cooperate with Louis Vuitton. It is a work inspired by my collection of old used postcards, sent to loved ones during travel or festive seasons”, the artist recalled, and Louis Vuitton representing for him the ultimate spirit of travelling.
During the process of creation, Moshiri was invited to the Louis Vuitton family house and workshops in Asnieres, Paris, to witness the artisans and craftsmen producing leather goods and trunks and so transmitting the heritage and savoir faire. Craftsmanship being an inherent part of his work, Moshiri found this experience nourishing and mirroring in many ways the execution of his own artworks, which in part are assisted by women in Iran who transmit from one generation to another the art of embroidery and other skills.
Once Upon a Time represents the artist’s most beautiful and intricate work from the series and combines his signature styles – the bead and the frosting – in perfect harmony. The work is heavily decorated with frosted borders, for which the artist applied the paint by using an old frosting set and with intricate beading. Considered an international leader in the neo-pop movement as well as one of the most prominent figures of Middle Eastern contemporary art, Farhad Moshiri became well known for his ironic interpretations of hybrids between traditional Iranian forms and those of the globalized consumerist and popular culture. Utilizing a repertoire of medium and tools, candy colours and tools, Moshiri critically examines pertinent issues today and plays with the codes of modernism while developing a flamboyant iconography. Beyond the confines of pure aestheticism, Moshiri continues to provide a unique perspective through playful irreverence and layered complexities in his work.
“I do like to show my work in places that are not necessarily intended for art,” said Farhad.
“I also like to produce the kind of work with materials that are not intended for art.”