“Burning for Mahsa” is a powerful example of protest art that aims to raise awareness about the realities and emotions of women in Iran, inspired by the death of Mahsa Amini. The painting depicts a somber scene with a group of women, all dressed in black and with their heads down in melancholy. Rather than my usual bright colors, I chose a more muted palette to convey my feelings of sorrow.
The women are shown burning their hijabs, symbolizing the hellish conditions that they are forced to endure without freedom. To further emphasize the message, I applied reflective media to some of the faces and bodies in the painting, allowing viewers to see themselves in the place of the women and encouraging empathy.
In the foreground, the women stand over light blue bodies, representing those who have been persecuted for their gender. The color of the bodies is one of the few colors used in the painting, highlighting the importance of their lives. The symbol for human rights is also featured in the background, painted in shadows as a reminder that everyone has rights that must be respected.
“Burning for Mahsa” is a poignant and thought-provoking piece of art that aims to shine a light on the injustices faced by women in Iran and inspire action towards a more just and equitable world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My calling for change comes from living during the reign of Augusto Pinochet. Born in Santiago, Chile, my husband and I left the country right around the time he came into power. This was a difficult time for many because they could not speak their truth without mysteriously disappearing or getting thrown in jail. Many of my pieces depict the struggles of the Chilean people during this time as well as my own struggles of missing my homeland.
© Teresa Greve Wolf