28 February 2023–22 March 2023

Cosmic Caravan by Darvish

Part of Alserkal Art Week

An interactive exhibition, accompanied by a number of live-performances by the artist.

Starts 28 February 2023

Ends 22 March 2023

Venue Leila Heller Gallery

Warehouse 86/87


Dubai, UAE Leila Heller Gallery is thrilled to feature Darvish Fakhr’s ‘Cosmic Caravan’, in its new pop-up kiosk, across from the gallery’s permanent space at Warehouse 87 in Alserkal Avenue. This interactive exhibition, accompanied by a number of live-performances by the artist, will inaugurate on the 28th of February 2023 and will
run through the 22nd of March 2023.

Darvish’s ‘Cosmic Caravan’ will be an unusual and intriguing installation featuring an artistic plethora of objects and paintings. It will be a cross between an art installation and a bizarre boutique. The pop-up features classical paintings that have been vandalized with Sufi inspired quotes. The fusion of traditional, timeless artwork with contemporary and mystical elements creates a distinctive visual style that appeals to those who are drawn to unconventional and
thought-provoking art forms.

The fashion pieces range from Sufi-inspired clothing to edgy and eclectic accessories (including Darvish’s range of ‘Now’ watches), all incorporating elements of the artist’s unique cross-global aesthetic. The paintings and objects would allow visitors to immerse themselves in the artist's world, experiencing Darvish’s creativity and vision in a tangible way. To complement the pop-up experience, the artist himself will be popping up from time to time to give impromptu live performances that range from painting to movement.

In what he calls “gentle civic disruptions,” Darvish channels his influences and inspirations from Sufism to challenge our preconceived notions of culture and tolerance in performance work that strikes viewers with its surrealism, humor, and optimism. Though he is not a practicing Sufi, his work is meant to pay homage to the purity of Sufi
mysticism, to the point where he describes himself as a "Sufi Skool Dropout". The guerrilla nature of such work is meant to disrupt the daily movement of our lives.

Darvish Fakhr is a half-Iranian, half-American artist whose work ranges from painting to movement art. In his practice, he amalgamates disparate cultures by overlaying various concepts and aesthetics through interference, which can take the form of movement, paint, or text. Throughout all his work, Darvish fuses Western techniques with Eastern philosophies, such as incorporating Persian poetry into oil paintings or converting a skateboard into a flying carpet. Much like the interference found in his paintings, he cross-pollinates aspects of his Iranian heritage with his Western upbringing. He challenges preconceptions by mocking stereotypes through humor and invention and uses lightness and concepts of flying as metaphors for accessing ideas of freedom. Growing up in Boston Darvish was taught a very traditional Western technique of oil painting. By superimposing Eastern philosophies through English and Farsi texts, he aims to celebrate the juxtaposition as a creative solution to an ongoing worldly conflict. Darvish has exhibited and performed internationally, included at The Armory Show in New York, and is in the permanent collection of the
National Portrait Gallery in London. Darvish currently lives and works in Brighton, UK