by Maria Sofou

Artist Panni Malekzadeh received her Master of Fine Arts from the New York Academy of Art and her BA from Otis College of Art and Design. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles.

Her 2012 series “Love me till it hurts” consists of oil canvas paintings depicting various young women, dressed in 18th century clothing, surrounded by contemporary objects and neon lights that highlight the constant objectification and hypersexualization of females. Malekzadeh’s beautiful portraits channel the contrasting emotions that come along with the transition from being a girl to being a woman – her protagonists are confused, happy, sad, seductive, awkward, sensual and vulnerable,  screaming “Love me till it fucking hurts” while in a scenery that is inspired by 1970’s Playboy aesthetic.

The artist talks about her work, comparing it to Sylvia Plath’s writing: “I understand the neurosis that Plath so beautifully describes in her writing. I almost see my work as a series of contradictions, ideas and thoughts that I pull from very different parts of my experienced life. In logic two mutually exclusive propositions are propositions that logically cannot both be true. To say that more than two propositions are mutually exclusive may, depending on its context means that no two of them can both be true, or only that they cannot all be true. But somehow in my work this has naturally taken place. My subject matter suggests ideas of beauty vs. despair, shame, embarrassment and vulnerability that woman many times experience in their lives.”