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Roxana Azar: "Licking the Thorns of a Rose"

Posted on January 25 2022

Roxana Azar: Licking the Thorns of a Rose
A Solo Exhibition of New Work
February 25 - March 20, 2022
Roxana Azar
Roxana Azar, Growing, 2021
Paradigm Gallery is pleased to announce Licking the Thorns of a Rose, a debut solo exhibition of new work by artist Roxana Azar (they/them/she/her). Along with their takeover of the main gallery space, Azar will transform two street-facing windows with unique installations featuring vinyl and acrylic works. The show’s title came to Azar in a dream, illuminating the surreal beauty of their work, and the contradictions and complexities within. Mesmerizing suncatchers emit a spectrum of colorful light across the gallery walls and beyond as ethereal text-based imagery captures the imagination. Azar’s new work marks a continuation of their biophilic practice while expanding into new techniques in printmaking, collage, and photography. Licking the Thorns of a Rose will be open to the public from February 25th through March 20th, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday, February 25th from 5:30 - 8:00 PM.

Drawing inspiration from plant life and the natural world, Azar found new meaning in their relationships with plants over the course of the pandemic. Symbolizing both the quiet pain of isolation and the solace of solitude, the plant-like and bodily forms in the artist’s work take on different meanings and associations in each piece. House plants, like all living things, necessitate care and patience - a ritualized practice that characterizes the artist’s approach to making work. The foundation of Azar’s multidisciplinary process begins with photography and its reconstruction through collage and digital manipulation. From abstract photo collages, Azar creates photo sculptures, built of printed layers of translucent, transparent, and iridescent materials. The synthesis of image, material, and in some works, text, is activated by the interplay between the work and its environment. Each encounter with Azar’s work is an ephemeral experience orchestrated by the specific conditions of the moment, mirroring the transient phenomenology of our dreams and the subconscious.

In the bleakest season, and in the third year of the global pandemic, the vibrance and vitality of Azar’s works serve as antidotes to the darkness that surrounds us all. Colorful, biomorphic forms illuminate the gallery and reflect onto the street outside, casting out the shadows with prismatic, shimmering light.

Artwork now live for purchase:
View the digital twin of the gallery in 360º:


Friday, February 25th • 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Saturdays • 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sundays • 11:00am - 5:00pm
And 7 days a week by appointment.

Paradigm Gallery + Studio
746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor / Philadelphia, PA 19147 / (267)266-0073

Instagram: @ParadigmGS
Twitter: @ParadigmGS

About Roxana Azar
Roxana Azar is a Philadelphia-based artist whose light art and dichroic sculpture work utilizes photography, digital manipulation, and sculpture to create biomorphic objects and speculative artifacts influenced by science fiction, Persian miniatures, and the Memphis Group. Their new work includes holographic vases, furniture, and lucite florals with images of collaged greenhouses and gardens. By using vibrant and holographic NASA-engineered materials, a dynamic visual experience of both the image and object is created where there are color shifting shadows, transparency, and reflections all at once.

About Paradigm Gallery
Paradigm Gallery + Studio® was established in 2010 by co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. The gallery exhibits meaningful, process-intense contemporary artwork from around the world. Now open 11 years, Paradigm Gallery is globally recognized and known as a tastemaker within their greater Philadelphia arts community. As the gallery grows, it maintains its original mission to keep art accessible. Through monthly donations, free public art
installations, and initiatives like Insider Picks, Paradigm Gallery continues to be a champion of small businesses and emerging and mid-career artists.

Media Contact:
Lainya Magaña
347 395 4155