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Retrospect Galleries

Retrospect Galleries

Byron Bay - Australia

Floral Minds - Minas Halaj's New Works

Byron Bay From 7 May to 30 July 2020

Presentation
California based, Armenia born artist Minas Halaj has created new works from his highly acclaimed series of 'Floral Minds' including large unique works featuring mixed media on canvas as well as a small selection of limited edition works.

Of his series 'Floral Minds', Harvard University's Middle Eastern Studies writer Danna Lorch has written a compelling essay that situates Minas' practice in a dialogue about his present life in California and his

Minas Halaj creates what he can’t have. In this case that is pure green space. If he returned to his native country of Armenia with its cerulean skies, twisting rivers and rugged mountain ranges, his brush would inevitably veer towards gritty cityscapes. He works from a studio that straddles the border between Los Angeles and Hollywood. Dusty palm trees line an industrial block of warehouses. Pollution hovers over the Hollywood skyline, adding a dreamy haziness to the concrete jungle that mimics the opening scene from a classic film.

The portraits comprising Halaj’s ongoing Floral Minds series examine the inherent human longing to live in harmony with nature despite the competing pull of the modern, plugged in world. From political personalities to dewy fashion models, these are the people who stop to snap the selfie which pops up on your social media feed as you relax on your living room couch. These are the glamorous, self-titled “public figures” who materialize larger than life on all your devices and yet can also vanish in the blink of an eye with just one bored scroll of the thumb.

Halaj is propelled by the belief that, “There is a unique flower inside each of us that grows and changes form and color. The flowers are in our veins and part of our anatomy. We are innately connected to nature, but there is a conflict within that pulls us towards the more complicated wider world.”

Even though the details of their faces are camouflaged by ornate bouquets of wildflowers, the subjects here are still relatable. In a sense, each distinctive choice of flowers conveys a more intimate and vulnerable reading of a person than a conventional glimpse of the visage could offer. The majority of the Floral Minds works are numbered rather than titled.

The Bluebird (which does not have a corresponding number) is a vanitas, riffing off Medieval funerary art in which a skull and fresh flowers pointed to the inevitability of life ending in death and decay. The bluebird perched on the fresh faced subject’s forearm is so realistic it seems possible to glimpse its heart thundering through its shiny plumage. And yet, Halaj seems to be saying, even these young things are destined to age. What matters most is the present moment. Buddhist teachings often speak of the lotus flower, a resilient pink bloom that grows in even the thickest of mud. The lotus is symbolic of an aspiration to reach spiritual purity despite earthly troubles. Halaj agrees with a sigh. “The flowers are a hint of paradise. As humans, we live in modern society but don’t realize that paradise is right here.”
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Address

    Details

  • 52 Jonson Street
    NSW 2481, Byron Bay
    Australia


Minas Halaj, Blue Bird, Painting

Minas Halaj

Blue Bird, 2019
53.9 x 46.1 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$27,031

Minas Halaj, Girl with Balloons, Painting

Minas Halaj

Girl with Balloons, 2019
62.2 x 48 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$28,579

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind 54, Painting

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind 54, 2019
62.2 x 48 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$28,579

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind 58, Painting

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind 58, 2019
62.2 x 48 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$28,579

Minas Halaj, Butterfly 7, Painting

Minas Halaj

Butterfly 7, 2020
48 x 40.2 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$18,457

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind 60, Painting

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind 60, 2019
48 x 40.2 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$18,457

Our recommendations Minas Halaj, Floral Mind 61, Painting

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind 61, 2019
48 x 40.2 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$18,457

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #8 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #8 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #12 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #12 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Our recommendations Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #16 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #16 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #21 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #21 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #40 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #40 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Minas Halaj, Floral Mind Series #53 - Limited Edition Print, Print

Minas Halaj

Floral Mind Series #53 - Limited Edition Print, 2019
40.2 x 35.8 x 0 inch
Print

$566

Minas Halaj, Butterfly #8, Painting

Minas Halaj

Butterfly #8, 2020
56 x 48 x 3.1 inch
Painting

$27,031

  • Exhibitions in Byron Bay