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Panteha Abareshi
“Chronically Ill and Severe” Artist

The Massachusetts Review first featured the work of interdisciplnary artist Panteha Abareshi in Summer 2018 (volume 59. issue 2), when she was 18. I have been keeping an eye on her amazing progress. Such strong work across disciplines. Here is how Panteha introduces herself on her website:

"My name is Panteha Abareshi, and I am an artist currently based in Los Angeles, CA.

My work is rooted in my existence as a body with sickle cell zero beta thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that causes debilitating pain, and bodily deterioration that both increase with age. Being a chronically ill body has shaped my experience into one that is extremely, and highly isolating. The nuances of disability and chronic illness are lost on the average able-bodied individual, and the marginalization, erasure and violence that I have endured from it alone is devastating. In combination with my personal notions of gender, racial and sexual identity, I am fully immersed in otherness. There is so little discussion surrounding this, and little to no exploration of these topics in contemporary work, and I aim to push against that lack of representation. In my practice I am warping concrete, physical forms into highly disembodied abstractions. Through my work I aim to discuss the complexities of living within a body that is highly monitored, constantly examined, and made to feel like a specimen. Taking images that are recognizable as human forms, and reducing them to gestural forms is a juxtaposition of my own bodies objectification, and dissection."

When the pandemic hit, Panteha was already having a sickle cell beta zero thalassemia pain crisis. Her father drove Los Angeles to pick her up and take her to her family home in Arizona.

(FOR PARTS) from Panteha Abareshi on Vimeo.


PAMELA GLAVEN is Art Director of the Massachusetts Review.

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