Sanam Khatibi, Atlantic (2020). Oil on panel. 21 x 31 cm. Courtesy rodolphe janssen.
Born in Tehran, yet raised and currently living in Brussels, Sanam Khatibi's paintings take influence from Northern Renaissance painting, in particular the work of Hieronymus Bosch.
Atlantic is included in Khatibi's current exhibition Cyanide at rodolphe janssen, which presents 21 miniature vanitas paintings. Common symbols from the Golden Age genre include flowers, skulls, and butterflies—here re-presented by Khatibi to reflect on the empty pursuit of goods and pleasures, as well as the transience of life.
Removed from their original function, Khatibi renders these objects as ornamental, their details spotlighted and almost floating amidst this overwhelmingly dark vastness.