NEW YORK – History, memory, body, language, and immigration are the featured themes of the solo exhibition by artist and writer Aphrodite Désirée Navab which opened at Coco-Mat in Soho on October 12, sponsored by AGAPW, ALLILONnet, and Coco-Mat USA. On display in the exhibition which runs through January 12, 2019, are 5 pieces from the She Speaks Greek Farsi (2009) series and 14 pieces from the Mother’s Milk (2018-now) series. The opening featured an artist talk with Navab moderated by Negin Sharifzadeh, a gifted artist in her own right.
Navab spoke about the work and the inspiration she draws from her roots. Born in Istfahan, Iran to an Iranian father, Dr. Ali Navab, and Greek-American mother, Katina (née Armenakis) Navab, who had met in New York while Dr. Navab was completing his residency in Cardiology, she and her 3 siblings, Alexander, Pericles, and Demetra grew up spending summers in Greece.
She explained that in the “series, She Speaks Greek Farsi (2009), my abdomen serves as the site of language. An expression in Greek, to speak any language in a ‘Farsi way,’ is a comment on how fluent and well someone speaks that language. So to speak ‘Greek Farsi’ or ‘English Farsi’ is to speak Greek or English well. By implication and inspiration, if such a compliment exists today (despite the ancient history of war between the Greeks and the Persians), then other similar signs of respect between antagonistic nations might be possible.”
The thoughtful and thought-provoking images on display offer a powerful intersection of themes relating to culture and language, and highlight the artist’s impressive skills. A Q&A session followed the artist talk during which many expressed their enthusiasm for the works and asked about the continuing series that Navab is working on. AGAPW Founder and President and local coordinator of ALLILONnet for the USA- NY, Olga Alexakos gave the welcoming remarks at the event and thanked all those present for their support.
Among those present, the artist’s parents- Dr. Ali Navab and his wife Katina, the artist’s daughter Katerina, Coco-Mat sales manager in New York Zographos Zografou, Nektarios Antoniou, and many art enthusiasts and members of the community.
Navab completed an Ed.D doctorate in Art Education in 2004 at Columbia University. She received her BA magna cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College in 1993. Her art has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions and is included in a number of permanent collections including: the Lowe Art Museum, the Harn Museum of Fine Arts, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Arkansas State University. In 2009, her work was featured in the museum exhibition and catalogue, Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. This year, Navab’s solo exhibition, The Homeling, was at Johannes Vogt gallery in New York City, January-Febuary 2018, and her art will be exhibited at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the upcoming group show, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, February 9-April 22, 2019.