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Iranian painter's mouthless women speak volumes at Istanbul exhibition

Maryam Salahi, an Iranian artist living in Turkey, taps into her "foreignness" for an exhibition in Istanbul exploring identity and freedom in the Middle East.
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In her paintings, Iranian artist Maryam Salahi usually portrays women with their mouths painted over or behind a veil made of a piece of cloth or chiffon added to the canvas. But some of the women in the works displayed in “IDs please,” her current exhibition at the F Art Gallery in Istanbul, have no faces at all.

“In our societies, women are allowed to speak little. That's the preference of a society that does not want women to be outspoken,” Salahi told Al-Monitor. “But inside those silent women, there is a volcano or a killer that could come out. That’s the real situation in the Middle East. Women live under pressure. So this is what I paint.”

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