Khor Art Initiative

“Khor” (pronounced /xor/ or /kɔː/), is a regional term for Middle Eastern estuaries; a partially enclosed body of water formed as a result of an indentation of the sea into the land.

A few weeks into the lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which began around the time of Persian New Year in March, one thing became clear to Iranians, just like all the people in the world battling this pandemic, that there is no foreseeable end on the horizon. We began receiving messages of deep concern and despair from our art community that prompted us to try and think of a creative response to these challenging times.

Khor Art Initiative is a unique project of its kind, tailored to COVID-19 conditions, with the following objectives:

to provide a better opportunity for Iranian artists to be able to present and sell their art;

to bring vitality back into our art community by creating a competitive event of high standards where all artists can participate;

to spark dialogs within the Iranian art community and with the international community;

to present the Iranian art community with a rare opportunity to be exposed to and benefit from the feedback of great components of today’s art world.

We began by announcing a nationwide open call for painting and drawing. Resources were limited and time was not on our side as Khor needed to make an impact now and not several months later when the adverse effects of the lockdown had already taken their vast toll. But thankfully, sympathy and hope triumphed: everything came together and we ended up being overwhelmed by the sheer number of quality submissions in the last couple of days. The submitted works were then reviewed by an international jury of highly established visual artists, curators, critics, and art dealers including: Nancy Adajania, Gorca Garcia Herrera, Katie Grinnan, Iva Gueorguieva, Sabine Moritz, Karim Nasr, Janet Rady, Nicola Samori, Kenny Schachter, and Christian Viveros-Faune, who all graciously accepted our invitation to judge this event on rather short notice. Each juror received a number of submissions and made their selections individually. Although this first-time endeavor has been far from perfect, so far, we have been blessed with stories of renewed faith and optimism from artists.

Khor Online Exhibition presents 134 selected works from a total of 55 emerging and established artists on Saradipour Art Gallery website and artsy.net, from June 29 to August 29, 2020. As part of our strategy to support the artists amid COVID-19 conditions, our gallery wavers its commissions from the sales made during this event. (Please note that the price range is not based on any particular valuing system and the prices have been determined by artists.)