Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1990, Lohrasb Bayat is a self-taught artist whose work emerges from an interest in history, politics, socio-economics, and science. His formative years were marked by constant travel, traversing war-ravaged cities in the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq conflict, and encountering the vast desert landscapes. These experiences, coupled with encounters with marginalized Arab communities within Iran, left an indelible imprint that would later find expression in his artistic endeavors.
Lohrasb Bayat’s work is a commentary on culture and aims to both examine and upend established ways of perception. By distorting assumed certainties of belief, Bayat probes accepted cultural systems and ideological viewpoints, questioning their enduring presence and impact across time, and seeks to transform historical and political issues into a soft and domesticated visual form.
In his Domesticated series, he also tackles identity concealment and anonymity in the age of mass surveillance and facial recognition. figures shroud their identities, cloaked under the intense illumination, while their eyes bear a palpable sense of paranoia and anticipation, transfixed on the world beyond the frame, hinting at an imminent and foreboding event. These creations surpass the boundaries of mere aesthetics, becoming a voice for those whose identities are overshadowed by societal prejudices and the omnipresence of surveillance. In his works, he challenges viewers to confront their own perceptions, biases and the power dynamics entrenched within contemporary systems of control.
Later in his next series Holy Domesticated, he tackles a decade-long obsession with early Renaissance art, probing the very essence of holiness within both Eastern and Western traditions of painting and culture. Within his works, Bayat addresses complex dilemmas, such as the thought-provoking question: “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” By presenting such dilemmas, Bayat encourages viewers to question the underlying constructs of perception and judgment.
Bayat’s thought-provoking art delves into identity, surveillance, holiness, and how people interpret things differently. He challenges viewers to rethink their ideas and consider the various aspects of culture and ideology. His artwork inspires self-reflection and connects art with society and personal introspection.
The unforgiving nature of markers on paper introduces an element of risk and vulnerability to the creative process. Once the marks are made on the paper, there is no turning back, emphasizing the irreversible commitment to the lives the figures in his series embody.