Local Artist Readies Controversial Muslim Exhibit

Art depicts nude Muslim women with sacred figures of Shiite Muslims

By Marcus Riley
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 12:08 PM CDT
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Amir Normandi's Art

Amir Normandi

Amir Normandi's latest exhibit features nude Muslim women entwined with sacred male Shiite Muslim figures.

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Amir Normandi's taking an, ahem, "hijab" at Muslim art.

The Iranian born Chicago-based artist is hosting a new show called "30Y" that features nude Muslim women entwined with male Shiite Muslim figures. It also shows garments Iranian women wore in clashes with the security forces in Tehran

The work has earned him plenty of ill will.

"I've been threatened many times, dealt with the Chicago Police and the FBI," says Normandi. "I am prepared to accept whatever, but this is my life's work. People of consciousness should wake up and realize the nature of the atrocity in the Islamic world."

According to Normandi, 30Y refers to "30 years of oppression women have faced under Iran's Fundamentalist rule."

"It is extremely important to me. Thirty years have passed and women of Iran have been put back to the 6th century lifestyle, and it's a lifetime passion of mine to see equality of gender in my region of the world," he said.

The show will run from October 23 to November 22 at d'Last Studio and Gallery in Pilsen (1714 S. Ashland).

He's also planning a special Halloween Ball Masque on October 31 where visitors are encouraged to attend masked or costumed, and add their voices to a video protest.

"Is my work shocking? Yes. The injustice and forced backwardness under fundamentalist rule should not be the norm. My sisters and nieces and their daughters continue suffering under oppression," Normandi said.

Normandi expects to receive some backlash from his latest show, but he's ready for it.

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