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Tala Madani: First Light
For more than a decade, Madani has developed a practice centered on playful yet provocative representations of men. Her paintings, drawings, and stop-motion animations combine a lyrical and gestural figuration with mature and sometimes disturbing subject matter. These deadpan and often hilarious works satirize conventional notions of masculinity, recasting the male figure in various scenarios that both mock virility and redistribute the dynamics of power. Bright pastel color fields form the ground for group scenes in which balding, rotund, and mustachioed middle-aged men blindly follow each other in circles, undergo interrogation, and perform various humiliating acts. Unflinchingly scatological and abject, Madani’s consistent rendering of bodily fluids and human waste encourages a larger consideration of authority, desire, and shame.