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Maryam Hoseini, Crazy Fears (detail), 2020

Acrylic, ink and pencil on wood panel, 206 × 64 cm


In Dubai, a new series of paintings by Iranian artist Maryam Hoseini is on show at Green Art Gallery (through 7 January). Often presented on shaped or overlapping panels, the works’ vibrant blues and warm pinks belie what can be unsettlingly surreal narratives. Crazy Fears (2020), for example, features a triple-breasted woman lactating through straws into cocktail glasses, while a quartet of other bodies dance up to grab them through holes in the table. The many-breasted figure reappears in Trapped But Together (2020), this time with a tiger-skinned twin growing out of her neck and playing a series of holes in the main figure’s leg, as though she were some sort of woodwind instrument. All that may seem extremely off in the hygienic age of COVID-19, but this is a morphing, haunting and genuinely intriguing series of meditations on gender, identity and relationships with other bodies.

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