Tala Madani
(Tehran, Iran, 1981)

Shit Shot Seagull, 2020

Oil on linen
50,8 x 121,9 x 3,2 cm
[Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio, © ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy Pascale Marthine Tayou and GALLERIA CONTINUA, by SIAE 2021]

Tala Madani’s paintings develop wide-ranging critical modalities on the imbalances of all kinds of contemporary authority. Her works encourage the viewer to think about gender, political authority, and questions about who and what is represented in art. These works are usually populated by middle-aged men and body fluids.

In Shit Shot Seagull (2020), a seagull is covered in excrement as it flies: even though it seems to do everything it can to rid itself of the excrement, the substance immobilizes its wings, to the extent that it will probably die and fall to the ground. This painting refers to pollution, to the environmental imbalance caused by humans, and to the ongoing violence against animals.

Tala Madani lives and works in Los Angeles. She moved from Tehran to western Oregon, going on to graduate with a BFA from Oregon State University in 2004, and with an MFA from Yale University School in 2006. In 2007, she presented her debut exhibition at Lombard-Freid Projects Gallery, New York. She has shown at the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2010), Venice Biennale, Venice (2011), Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Göteborg (2013), Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech (2014), Taipei Biennial, Taipei (2014), and the Whitney Biennial, New York (2017), and has work held in numerous public and private collections. In 2012 Madani was awarded the Volkskrant Art Award, and in 2013 she received the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting. In 2007 she was the artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, and she held the Abbey Painting Fellowship of the British School at Rome in 2010.