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Fine Art Italia-Abc Artists Majeed Beenteha Majeed Beenteha-Shirin

Majeed Beenteha-Shirin


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Beenteha, a self-taught aspiring photographer and filmmaker was born in Esfahan, Iran. His first foray into filmmaking was a short experimental piece entitled "Cirque Shab" (Night Circus), a film that dealt with the place and role of women in Iranian society. During the making of this film, he met the Iranian artist and scholar Iraj Anvar, with whom he collaborated to produce two additional films. The first was a short film entitled Naqqali Shemr & Daughter of Iran, in which the ancient Iranian art of Naqqali (lit. storytelling) was used to versify and narrate a tale of rivalry between the Persians and their long-time enemies, the Turanians. The second film was a documentary entitled Intoxicating Rhymes & Sobering Wine, a portrayal of the legendary 11th Century Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Omar Khayyam. Inspired by Khayyam’s poetry, Majeed composed eleven original tracks of music, which were released on two CDs entitled Plugged into Khayyam; Volumes I & II. Majeed’s mixed-media, video, and photography works have been exhibited at various galleries around the world, including the Whitebox, Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, and Gershwin galleries in New York, and the Other Gallery in Shanghai. Majeed has also written plays, short stories, and poetry in English and Persian. He has published an English language children book entitled "Once Upon a Star".Majeed’s latest project was a short animation film entitled Sonnet of Delirium that he wrote, directed, and produced. He is currently working to complete "Shirn & Farhad" animation as well as a new series of photographs.He lives and works between Tehran and New York City.

About The Artist...

Majeed Beenteha-Exhibitions & Festivals


2012  NordisK Panorama Film Festival               ( Sonnet of Delirium  Animation )           
2012  Iranian Film Festival                                 ( Sonnet of Delirium  Animation )       

Solo Exhibitions

2009 Seyhoun Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2009 Gershwin Gallery, NYC, USA

Group Exhibitions

2010 Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery Tehran to New York Exhibition, NYC, USA
2010 Whitebox Gallery, NYC, USA
2011 Whitebox Gallery Exhibition with Third Eye and Raul Zamudio, NYC, USA
2011 Other Gallery, Shanghai, China
2012 Castrvm Peregrini, Amsterdam  Curator: Paco Barragán
2012 Saatchionline Curated by Sara Raza

2009  Georgetown University                            Khayyam Documentary ( Intoxicating Rhymes and Sobering Wine )
2008  UCLA                                                    Khayyam Documentary ( Intoxicating Rhymes and Sobering Wine )
2008  UCI                                                       Khayyam Documentary ( Intoxicating Rhymes and Sobering Wine )
2008  NYC                                                      Cirque de Nuit Short Film
2008  Columbia University                                Cirque de Nuit Short Film


* Majeed’s video and Photo works was featured on Voice of America. Selective Images from his work has been appeared in two  publications about Iranian modern Art & Huffington Post article.

General Statement:

"Majeed Benteeha is an Iranian-born photographer, and aspiring film director. Moving back and forth between Tehran and New York City, Beenteha simultaneously combines and clashes both worlds, in a fusion that challenges cultural assumptions on both fronts. Beenteha images often feature veiled women posing nude in an iconic fashion that seems more sacred than profane. Benteenha’s photography violates orthodox views about feminine modesty, about the religious and social connotations of the veil–only to show us another way to respect women and all that they represent: love, maternity, sensuality, desire, intelligence. Beenteha images are simple, beautiful, erotic and dramatic. They feature symbols associated with the Iranian cultural heritage but also seem influenced by Western imagery and traditions. A body of Beenteha work projects a sharp contrast between traditional and modern realties that co-exist uneasily in modern day Iran. These images reveal an uneasy state of affairs and a growing divide between the orthodox and modern minded forces that define the social and political lives of Iranians. Beenteha work does not necessarily entail a criticism or rejection of either extreme. Rather, it unveils the inner struggles and tension that helps polarize and isolate the nation. Isolation Series. As the title "Isolation" suggests, this series of images is intended to evoke a sense of remoteness. This represents a personal series for me, as it reflects a period in my life in Iran when I felt emotionally and physically disconnected from everyone and everything around me. I believe the feelings I experienced during this time period resonate with what the entire nation is facing, as Iran has become more isolated over the years as a result of sanctions and self-imposed policies that limit all forms of expression and movement. In this atmosphere, and in rooms and homes that look more like hospital or hotel rooms, one feels no sense of belonging. We seem to be ghost-like figures fading into backgrounds, marginalized: a reflection of an entire nation brewing with social discontent. The series "Isolation" expresses a sense of frustration and plight. Some of the images are infused with expression of longing; yearning for anything but the present moment. As evident in these images, the human subject is disconnected from its social environment and the objects around it. Even a search for the former image of the self in the mirror ends in frustration and failure. Nudity, Sexuality and Women The body is universal and it provides a great reference point to discuss various topics, including, most obviously, human sexuality. In Islamic societies women embody more than men the values and tradition of the religion. Particularly in Iran, the female body and what constitutes femininity has been used by current and previous regimes to redefine the national values and morals. Both orthodox and secular forces have used women and female figure to further their political and social goals. The women featured in my work illustrate the combined paradoxical views of these opposing social and political forces; therefore the nation itself. As a result, I’m not necessarily always concerned to express a feminist or even feminine point of view. There is also the notion of motherland that is part of my visual vocabulary. In many of my work, I depict women as lionesses, an iconic figure representing the nation. This is a sharp contrast to the image of male lion that has embraced the national flag for many decades, until recently. By substituting the figure from male to a female I'm making a statement about the importance and prominence of women in modern-day Iran. In general, there is very limited expression of love, sexuality and nudity in Iranian culture. The mere act of showing a nude in any form gives viewers an opportunity to evaluate our preoccupation with the concealment of the body in its natural form. Basically any concealment by definition is restricting and will limit our understanding of one another. Therefore, exploring and employing nudity in the work will lead to greater discussion and add another level of complexity and richness to art and society. I also use nudity for its static beauty and employ it to evoke sensual and erotic emotions.


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