When you think of animated art, funny clips with well-loved characters with light-hearted humor might come to mind. Tala Madani's animated paintings, however, present a twist on the art form with ironic humor that delves deep into the heart of society. 

Don't be deceived by Madani's cartoonish paintings—they may be playful, but the message is serious. Deliberately provoking themes of patriarchy, Western traditions, social taboos, corporeality and violence, Madani forces her audience to pause and think. 

She uses oil on canvas to showcase a survey of comical scenes with bodies that transform into abstract shapes. Using bold strokes, her paintings encourage a quizzical smile and a mind seeking answers.

Winner of the Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, Madani was born in Iran and currently lives in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2006 and made her solo debut in 2007. 

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and the the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Foundation will be exhibiting Tala Madani's artwork from Oct. 4–Jan. 4. Admission is free, and on Friday, Oct. 4 from 6–9 p.m., the artist will be present for the opening reception to discuss her work.

For more info, visit utahmoca.org.

“Underman,” courtesy of Tala Madani and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.