My current focus is on the visceral and formal qualities of decay when communicating history, memory and experience. I use a multi-disciplinary approach which combines drawing, painting and sculpture to study specific locations from memory, with the goal of capturing passive interactions and exchanges with our built environment. In this vein, the construction site becomes a theatrical backdrop for the examination of notional weight and austerity, material roughness and, more broadly, transient systems. This transiency of occupied space is further examined, formally, by layering carefully drafted graphite and ink drawings with various types of paint (oil, house and spray), concrete, plaster and wood to showcase the interplay of symmetry, tangency and congruence, with material authenticity. It is here that the interplay of various stages, from demolition to renovation, form a new ground for imagined dwellings forged from the fragmentation of existing buildings. Furthermore, having been exposed to revolution and war as a teenager in Iran, my childhood encounters with death and destruction have allowed me to draw parallels between building deconstruction and the despair, yet resiliency, of their exiled inhabitants. By using building decay as a metaphor, I am making both an observation and a comment, if more subtly, regarding the current state of rapid technological transformation and its social and ethical implications. With the application of an iterative method, which includes deconstruction and reassembly, ironically, we may find that it is within such ruins that a vital and integral path to a true essence of progress can be realized.
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-winning 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.