The figures in my work reside in a precarious state of terrifying contingency. Things are happening; will happen; have happened; things that will lacerate when spoken about and are considered taboo or too harsh to deal with let alone witness; nonetheless an aura of sublimity is cast upon the figures, enriching them with an ornate divinity achieved by simple yet meticulously calculated brush strokes. This dichotomy or battle of the opposites encompasses the human condition as a whole and exposes our universal values together with our detestable errors.
Evoking concepts of socially coded modes of thought and behavior, gender based issues, dynamics found in diasporic cultures of the middle east, and war are the essence of my visual language and the product of my experience as an Iraqi immigrant. I am a hybrid of east and west in today”s growing global multiculturalism, the conditions of which are not dissimilar to those that gave birth to the golden age of Islamic thought and culture and paved the way to a refined state of sensory appreciation. Both aesthetically and conceptually the fusion of cultures are intrinsic to my work. Using the visual language of Bizhad, Islamic ornament, the Italian Renaissance, and Nihonga, I convey subversive figurative narratives that reflect societal concerns and defy doctrinal behavioural patterns.
"I have always had a deep appreciation for art that is able to retain aesthetic simplicity whilst expressing complex issues, themes and emotions, so it's not really surprising that I connect to Hayv's work as much as I do. I think the timeless elegance that marks her style and the important messages contained within each piece will play significant roles in the advancement of her career. I was very happy to stumble across some pieces in the booth of The Third Line, her Dubai gallery, at the Independent this March."
"I encountered Kahraman’s work recently in New York, were she divided the gallery space leaving a window in a screen through which to view her paintings. Her works recall the interior lives and perspectives of women who navigate gendered divisions, whose bodies are managed by others but privy to information."