AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner, 2018

Hayv Kahraman
Pomona College Museum of Art Project Series 52

Edited by Rebecca McGrew
Contributions by Sinan Antoon, Hayv Kahraman, and Madina Tlostanova

Designed by Content Object, Kimberly Varella
Casebound Hardcover, 96 pages
Publisher: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9979306-2-7
Dimensions: 6.75 × 9.75 in.
Separations: Echelon Color, Santa Monica, CA
Printing: Conti Tipocolor, Florence, Italy

Los Angeles-based artist Hayv Kahraman (born 1981) creates exquisite paintings and other wall works that address diasporic cultural memory, feminine collectivity, and gender identity through her personal history as an Iraqi émigré first to Europe, then to the US. This artist's book explores how her visual language merges her biography as an immigrant in a multiplicity of styles—including Persian miniatures, Japanese illustrations, and Italian Renaissance paintings—creating a discourse between Eastern “otherness” and Western concepts of beauty. The key figure in the paintings represents Kahraman as a colonized woman; the repetitive nature of her work and the act of shredding and mending presents a history of displacement, loss, and trauma. The book includes never-before-published images of the artist's work and her performance texts, plus new essays and poetry.

Photography by Ian Byers-Gamber
Text excerpted from the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College