Iranian artist salman khoshroo has created a series of woolen portraits based on his experience of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. khoshroo says that the therapeutic process of weaving inanimate fibers into vibrant faces brought him comfort during this time of global uncertainty. ‘these portraits are delicate and vulnerable and resonate with my own precarious situation,’ the artist tells us. khoshroo says that wool works particularity well for portraying hair, bringing a sense of warmth and intimacy to the visages.
for salman khoshroo, the project represents the first time he has experimented with wool. ‘my aim is to make full volume sculptures in wool and develop some of the ideas out of this initial project,’ the artist explains. khoshroo, who is a self-taught painter, has used the wool to make sweeping, expressive gestures similar to that of brushstrokes. ‘when I look at felt artists, their approach is mostly to needle the wool into condensed shapes,’ the artist continues. ‘in my paintings I am inclined to make sweeping gestures and I find the wool to be a beautifully flowing material.’
the artist adds that making male portraits from a material habitually perceived as feminine is part of his personal journey to re-interpret the masculine condition. ‘my art plays with the expectations and perceptions of the human image,’ says khoshroo. ‘it is an obsession to take inanimate materials such as paint, and shape it into a face that embodies a human soul. by soul I don’t mean a religious or spiritual notion, the idea is more about emotions, intelligence and character.’
title: wool on foam portrait series
artist: salman khoshroo