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Ashkan Honarvar’s Grotesque Candy-Coated Deformities Confront Human Cruelty

The artist Ashkan Honarvar, previously featured here, is transfixed by the gruesomeness of the body and cruelty of human nature; in his multimedia creations, he asks that we come face-to-face with the painful, dark cavities of our minds, painting a visual diary of fear, violence, and revulsion. His series Faces 5 hopes to capture the trauma of soldiers whose faces have been deformed and marked by war. Sandwiched between the comparably somber Faces 4 and 6, the series presents subjects with tragically mutilated features dripping in uncomfortably sweet confections made of paint and candy.

As the delicious veers into the grotesque, seemingly saccharine sweet-shop elements become markers of unknowable trauma and nightmare. The gluttony of mankind for violence and brutality are laid bare, and the hunger elicited by the images is tinged with guilt. Our craving for cruelty is equated with the natural and relatively innocent desire for sweets, and the instinctual impulse to do harm is seen as disturbingly tempting, seductive, and indulgent.

In these painfully intimate and personal portraits, the sugar-coated wounds become windows into psychological injury inflicted by violence, evoking in viewers anxious feelings of nausea and disgust. The unnerving pepto-bismal hue of thick, gooey paint highlights the desperation of a mouth blown-off, and coils of green licorice swirl across the face like snakes. These injuries are seen as parasites; the sugared treats stick hard to the face, as if to multiply and remain there to rot the flesh beneath. Take a look. (via BeautifulDecay)

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