Young Masters Introducing Anoush Abrar

Anoush Abrar was born in Teheran and moved to Switzerland at the age of five. He studied at the University of Arts in Lausanne where he has taught photography since 2005 while pursuing an artistic career. In 2015 Abrar received the 2nd Prize in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, celebrated with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12 November 2015 – 21 February 2016. The work, “Hector,” a portrait of an infant boy, takes inspiration from the classical subject matter of sleeping cupid as depicted by Caravaggio in “Sleeping Cupid” from 1608. The strength of Abrar’s work is his ability to combine the formal elements of Caravaggio’s Cupid, both in his use of chiaroscuro as well as in the composition while retaining an extraordinarily contemporary character to his work. The portrait is part of a larger series called ‘Cherubs’ where Abrar explores the idea of capturing the first expressions of individuality.


Portraiture has occupied Abrar throughout his career with series that show an original and apt approach to his subjects, which covers young art students in Lausanne as well as members of the Jewish community in Iran. His experiences of working commercially as a fashion photographer bring interesting fusions to his artistic expression and perspective. Abrar has exhibited at museums and galleries all over the world and was previously shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2013 with his portrait of the Ghanian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Currently, Anoush Abrar lives and works between Lausanne and London.


Image Credits: Anoush Abrar, Hector, 2015, C-print Fuji matt mounted in dark brown stained oak frame, 100 x 130cm

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