Dreams Before Extinction by Naeemeh Naeemaei
Hardcover, bilingual edition in English and Farsi
ISBN 978-0-9895616-3-1, 35 pages
Dissolving the artificial boundary between human society and wild nature is the goal of Dreams Before Extinction, a series of twelve remarkable paintings of endangered species by the Tehran-based Iranian artist Naeemeh Naeemaei. Painted in a dream-like, figurative style that is disarming in its sincerity, her artworks bring a distinctly Muslim perspective to environmental art and activism. Through a deeply personal narrative that is disturbing for both its intimacy and its boldness, Naeemaei bravely crosses the dividing line between humans and wild nature to awaken emotional concern not only for the animals in question, but also for the environment as a whole. “I use my dreams, wishes, memorabilia and legends, plus information about the species, to extend my imagination. In each painting, I’ve lived with an animal in my mind. It is a deep connection.” With illuminating comments on each painting by the artist, a preface by the Iranian environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami, and an introduction by the historian and graphic artist Paul Semonin, this beautiful bilingual book speaks across the cultural barriers existing today between the Muslim world and Western societies.