In my recent work, I attempt to expand upon the contemporary tradition of making and un-making and to expose the blurred lines between evolution and decay. I not only use the current urban state of New York, with its rapid growth and transformation, as reference, but also have looked to general modes of architecture under duress as a guide (modes of destruction due to demolition, natural disasters and war). My focus is on the visceral and formal qualities of decay when communicating history, memory and experience. Moreover, I view the construction site as an architectonic theater for examining ideas relating to notional weight and austerity, material roughness and, in general, systems in entropy. Incorporating materials typically found in construction sites such as clay, concrete, plaster, sand and wood into my painting helps develop this approach. This manner of mark-making engages the viewer, not only in a visceral manner, but also by inciting a pseudo-haptic response. My iconography consists of building components such as wooden forms, bolts, cables and bricks; these serve as interactive elements each communicating a sense for line quality, surface density, direction of force and connectivity. In addition, visual effects are exaggerated using misaligned/forced perspectives and scale changes to invite the viewer into a transitory site full of uncertainties. The studio space is converted into a laboratory environment where, with the help of reference sculptures, I formulate a pathway for the recreation of a state of in-between-ness, a place suspended in impermanence. With the application of an iterative method, which includes installations and demolitions, ironically, we may find that the new also represents a stage of decay, itself.
Amir Hariri was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated to the U.S. to attend college in the early 1990s. His broad academic and professional experiences and interests, which include professional degrees in design and management from Cornell and Harvard Universities, form an integral part of his highly analytical and disciplined art practice and vision. Amir spent over 10 years working on design projects ranging from airports, stadiums, concert halls and museums to award-wining glass designs, such as stairs for various Apple stores. In addition, Amir spent 5 years studying painting and printmaking at the Art Students League of New York, during which time he also served as a teaching assistant and as a member of the board of directors. His work incorporates this extensive professional background in design and engineering, together with rigorous studies of anatomy, into an organic, "bio-mechanical" unity. Amir has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, with pieces included in various public and private collections in the U.S, as well as Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and Japan. Recent awards include selection as one of Smack Mellon 'Hot Picks' and the 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Drawing from the New York Foundation for the Arts.