'Humans 2006' and 'Seasons of Solitude' exhibitions open at The Empty Quarter Gallery

Works of the Iranian and American artists showcase contrasting views of life and add to the diversity of rich offerings at the DIFC Gate Village

The Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography Gallery at the DIFC Gate Village, has announced the opening of “Humans 2006” and “Seasons of Solitude”, exhibitions by contemporary photographers Mohammadreza Mizraei of Iran and Lou Raizin of the U.S.

The twin events were inaugurated today and will be open for viewing until June 15. This is the inaugural solo exhibition in Dubai at The Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography Gallery for both the artists.

Abdulla Hamad Bin Sougat, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Lifestyle Group, welcomed the exhibitions at the prestigious The Empty Quarter Gallery.

"The Dubai International Financial Centre is home to several of the finest art galleries and events in the region and The Empty Quarter is counted among its best - and it is distinguished in the sense that it focuses on fine art photography. Hosting the works of internationally acclaimed artists like Mohammadreza Mizraei and Lou Raizin, speaks volumes about the reach of the gallery in sourcing works from as geographically and culturally diverse places as Iran and the United States," Bin Sougat said.

"Display of works of such high caliber and artistic excellence will also no doubt add to the already substantial reputation of the DIFC Gate Village as a hub for fine art in the region," Bin Sougat added.

Explaining the rationale behind the theme 'Humans 2006' for his exhibition, Mohammadreza Mizraei, said the display is devoted to life, death, people and the relationships between them and, of course, loneliness.

“I was influenced by a poem by Bijan Jalali, the Iranian poet who said 'the living is impossible/but we are still here/with ambitions of everything/and we go/and we come'".

"In my mind the location in the 'Humans' series is a kind of utopia, a nondescript town, somewhere that nobody know where. It is a stage that becomes a metaphor about life -- people come, stay for a while, talk, stand, sit, play…do what they should do, and then leave the stage.”

Elie Domit, Creative Director at The Empty Quarter, who curated both displays, pointed out that Mirzaei's style is unique, dispassionately recording scenes with precision. Setting up his camera at a distance, he sees and records anonymous people or ‘Humans’, making cameo appearances, alone or in groups, frozen against backdrops of expansive and empty skies.

"His photographs can be viewed as pure documents of time passing in a specific place. Life goes on, people come and go, interact, continue on their separate ways, and the land and sky always remain. The viewer can also look a little deeper and interpret the images allegorically -- as a comment or exploration of the nature of our human condition," Domit said.

In a contrasting display Lou Raizin's ‘Seasons of Solitude’ explores the idealized place, where time stands still. A place strong and silent, alone but not lonely, a place that might just be just outside the window, but hard for most to find.

Raizin explains that In the midst of the technical bombardment of emails, cell phone calls and web traffic, coupled with the daily news, automobile congestion and a world in flux, man strives to escape - a change of season.

His body of work evokes a place of simple solitude, quiet and thought provoking, where one can take a geographic cure to discover the tranquility within.

Domit said Raizin's approach to photography is to capture a moment that reveals itself through artistic impulse, to allow himself to be touched and to be influenced by what he sees, to articulate the experience, and to illuminate it.

"Raizin's photographs reflect who he is and how the subjects impact him. He looks through the lens of his camera and closes his eyes to see," the curator added.

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