Sanam SayehAfkan (B. 1989, Rasht, Iran) looks to art history and contemporary world literature to create stories with imagined, multi-dimensional, and deceptive narratives in her work. In these
timeless painting pieces, she presents narratives of vague stories in seductive spaces to the viewer and traps the viewer within the intertwined narratives and endless exploration.
The storytelling in these paintings have hidden meanings that create various concepts in the viewers’ minds and create further confusion, thus the lack of integrity prevents the viewer from making any predictions. Sayehafkan is inspired by the storytelling structure of contemporary literature and the stream of consciousness mechanism, and also the works of Kawanabe Kyosai, Theodore Gericault, Kerry James Marshall, and David Salle.
Although the viewer of “Labyrinth” has no assurance of the starting point, he embarks on a journey that is much harder to leave than it was to enter. The artist starts the initial plan for each painting with a collection of mental images and pictures from magazines and the news, and those designs transform and change shape during the execution process.///
By putting together these images, she breaks the order and discipline of the elements and creates a new harmony and order among these elements and surfaces. Although these works do not present a single and integrated subject, the viewer is still confronted with glimpses of the artist’s thought process.
Realism in this collection presents something more than reality, that although created with realism technique constructs unreal situations that put the viewer in an uncanny state between familiar and unfamiliar, that looks increasingly strange the more the viewer engages with it. The starting and finishing points of each story in the paintings are not clear and continue
into the labyrinth of the viewer's mind.