A young woman dressed in a wedding gown flies through the air, her eyes closed. In one hand she grasps a portrait of the back of a man's head, and the same rope that binds her wrist and upper arm appears to be keeping her aloft. The image grows more worrisome when you see that she is suspended above an open grave containing a shrouded corpse, while a gigantic cracked egg sits near the tomb. This is a typically complex drawing by 29-year-old Iranian artist Asal Fallah, one in a group of work she calls "My World."
The woman in the wedding dress appears over and over again, and whether these are self-portraits or represent something more universal, the images exert considerable power. Birds are another recurring motif in Fallah's work, often appearing as larger-than-life guardians or with a menagerie of other creatures (snakes, fish, ants, snails) in elaborate dreamscapes. Fallah's black-and-white renderings weave a poignant commentary about the role of women not only in her native Tehran but in any society where choice is not so free.
The opening for "My World" starts Thursday, Jan. 3 at 4 p.m. (and continues through Jan. 15) at Art People Gallery, 50 Post (at Montgomery, in the Crocker Galleria), S.F. Admission is free.