Myth and contemporary, reality and fantasy, cartoons and painting are mixed in the works of Soraya Sharghi on display at the first monographic exhibition at the Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai. Large paintings at the centre of which the young Iranian artist has placed figures that express a powerful and unashamed femininity, confrontational and ironic. Women’s bodies, often nude, but never displayed with a sense of self-gratification. In the background, meticulous detail. The colours are vivacious and combined audaciously. Her sources of inspiration are numerous, from Iranian poetry to Pop Art, from mythology to comic books, from philosophy to Japanese art, particularly the works of Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami, sources that Sharghi absorbed and transformed to create a personal narrative. At times, the works are tinted with memory of her infancy, such as in Anomaly and the painting Out Of Realm, from which the exhibition gets its name. A series of works is also dedicated to the figure of a contemporary Eve shown in various situations, but always the bearer of a vital message, not passive, never with a sense of guilt. The “rebel” Sharghi wants to overturn the stereotypes of male chauvinism, subverting the female image proposed historically, culturally, in mythology, not just that of her country of origin, creating new contemporary icons, demonstrating, with pride and courage, her own personal power.