Feature Cyrus Mahboubian reignites our love of Polaroids
Here Maleki shares why British-Iranian artist Cyrus Mahboubian and his contemplative approach to photography and continued use of analogue materials, especially Polaroids, caught his eye.
Mahboubian has stated that his intentionally slow process is a response to the increasing influence of technology in our lives. He told us: “I enjoy technology but find our state of constant connectivity overwhelming at times and the antidote is being in the quiet of nature. The natural world is an enduring source of inspiration – my favourite subject matter is landscapes and the sea.”
Maleki adds: “[His works] feel intimate and personal. In the fast-paced world that we live in it, is exciting to see a young artist use these methods to engage with his art. In his most recent show, ‘Polaroids/Composites’, which I had the pleasure of visiting, he uses single Polaroids, etched and collaged-together Polaroids, known as ‘composites’, bringing a new form of attentiveness to their subject.”
Mahboubian’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, Moscow, Istanbul and Dubai. His first photobook, Viscera, was published in 2019 with book launches taking place at Sotheby’s and the London Art Book Fair at Whitechapel Gallery. He chose to create a photobook as they were an important part of his education when he was a student and first developing his practice.
You can see his most recent work with expired Polaroid film currently in a solo show in Mayfair. Much of the work was made last year in lockdown. He’s also hoping to screen a new video work he made in lockdown later this year in a gallery context.
About the champion
Kamiar Maleki is a Collector, Curator, Fair Director, Patron and Philanthropist with over 15 years’ experience in collecting, curating and managing art projects and fairs. He was Fair Director of Contemporary Istanbul from 2016–2018. Fluent in English, German and French, Spanish and conversational in Farsi. He is also Co-Founder of the Agha Khan Museum UK Patrons Chapter, and Founder of ICA Young Patrons for the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London. Kam is the Director of the VOLTA Art Fairs (Basel/New York/Miami).