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We got used to new Us

We got used to new Us

Mostafa Darwish | Amany A. Metawe | Illya Mousavijad | Afsaneh Oskouei | M. Adil Ozturk | Mehdi Ashlaghi

May 4 - 26, 2018
Opening Reception with artists: Friday, May 4th, 6 - 8:30pm Philadelphia, PA

Twelve Gates Arts presents a collection of works examining aspects of the contemporary experience of immigrants in the United States. The artists included have all studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and have all emigrated from the Middle East. Feelings of being alienated, controversies surrounding political views, identity conflicts, cultural traditions, and religious conflicts are all themes present in the works. The pieces in the show can be seen as a discussion of how the artists express cultural issues through their subjective experiences. Some of those issues are manipulated by either media or politics, and the artists have noticed instances when even the current art market has reshaped and distorted artistic narratives to suit a geographical audience and political climate.

Mostafa Darwish is a painter and mixed-media artist originally from Egypt. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. He enjoys finding similarities and patterns beneath the surface of the different cultural contexts in which he has lived, and he through his work, he aims to translate awareness of mutual misconceptions that he has encountered.

Amany A. Metawe is a sculptor who is currently a graduate student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She uses thread and rope to draw lines to embody memories and trap mysteries and secrets inside her objects. Her inspiration are details, textures, highlights, shadows, and the contrast between colors. The work, embracing the language of abstraction, symbolizes her feelings and creates a compelling narrative. Each piece extends from her past, and materializing them gives her a foresight of the future where she believes she is heading.

Illya Mousavijad was born in Isfahan, Iran. He currently is a student in his final year of the bachelor program at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His works often address global political and racial issues present in the contemporary time. Although, much of his work is in painting, he finds it necessary to adopt collaborative and multimedia approaches in his practice. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. The Yale Norfolk Residency, The PAFA Venture Fund, and Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant are amongst his recent achievements.

Afsaneh Oskouei was born in Iran. She got her master’s degree in painting from Tehran Azad University in 2009 and she is recently a MFA student in Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her love for drawing and printmaking grew when she was in an intaglio class. “ I find printmaking as a dynamic medium that gives the artist a great opportunity to discover the mysterious world of prints and drawing. You always have new challenges while you are working on a copper plate and this is amazing!!”

M. Adil Ozturk started the pursuit of design and art education in high school in Turkey. He graduated from Vocational High School in 2010, followed by a degree in Visual Design from FMV Isik University in 2015. As an international student, he is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work speaks of and is deeply connected to contemporary political and social issues happening around the world and he is investigating the advanced scope of philosophy through art and its practices.

Mehdi Ashlaghi  is from Tehran, Iran and received his BFA in Painting from the University of Art in Tehran. He also received his Master in Illustration from the same university. Ashlaghi has immigrated to the U.S since 2014 and currently in his first year of the Master of Fine Arts program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His current works deal with the feelings of suspension, isolation, and solitude of the contemporary human and his fears of the probability of another World War, and the impacts of such a disaster on our societies in the Post-World War III era. Ashlaghi does this by obsessively creating paintings, collages, and works on paper while witnessing the political and societal issues happening outside of his studio in his country.

We got used to new Us will be on view from May 4 - 26, 2018. Gallery hours are Wed - Sat: 11-5 and by appointment. For additional information please contact Aisha Zia Khan at (215)253-8578 or by email:


Earlier Event: March 2
Later Event: June 22