Alemeh Bagherian is an Iranian artist and mother, living and working in Iran. She has a BA in Carpet Design and a Masters in Painting. Alemeh has participated in many group exhibitions, international fairs, auctions, and has had solo exhibitions since 2011. I happened to discover Alemeh's work while browsing Seyhoon Art Gallery's Instagram page. I was totally enthralled and blown away by her colorful, bold, and mesmerizing work. I am so happy and thrilled to have her as my first guest on Tavān Studio. Enjoy!
How did your style come to existence?
It took me many years of trial and error to reach this personal style of art and subject matter. Constant practice, persistence, and trial and error is a path that all artists are on. It's a path that I am on and will continue to be on in order to experience new things and ideas.
What do you think of the art scene in Iran now? Tell us about your exhibition experiences.
In Iran, with all the growth and progress, art is continuously flourishing and evolving. But I think there should be more recognition and attention from the public institutions rather than private support. I think there should be more governmental support of the arts.
Artists can gain a lot of knowledge and experience from participating in group shows and even more so through solo exhibitions. All aspects such as learning how to write your statement, when to exhibit, networking, are all of great value. Having your work in established galleries also really helps to further your career as an artist. Thankfully after several group and solo exhibitions in various galleries, I was able to exhibit at my favorite space, Seyhoon Art Gallery, which has supported me and my work.
Do you think art can change the world?
Art is a reflection of life throughout history, of the dark and light, a reflection of culture and the traditions, of societies, and the vast skills of humans throughout time. For sure it has changed the world and will continue to do so.
Was your family supportive of you being an artist?
My family, specifically my husband, were the main cheerleaders and supporters of my work.
Are your friends artists as well?
The majority of my friends are artists due to our common artistic nature and similarities. I prefer to surround myself and have relationships with people who are lovers of art.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I am definitely an introvert. I’ve had this introverted characteristic ever since I understood and developed an awareness of myself.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
If I weren’t a painter, I would have been a writer. And if I weren’t an artist…I really don’t know what I would be. But I don’t even like to let the idea of not being an artist and creating art cross my mind.
Where is your most favorite place to think?
My favorite place would be by the ocean, or amongst trees in a forest.
What do you use as inspiration? Tell us more about your paintings.
There are many things I can get inspiration from, a story, a photograph. But something that has really been a major advantage, is my creative imagination. Spending a lot of time thinking and imagining have been part of my personality since childhood. In my work, I combine the female figure with traditional Persian designs and miniature paintings. The female figure, will always exist and be the main and central inspiration of my work. These figures have a lot to say, things that are difficult to actually say, but maybe at least they will trigger something in the viewers mind and feelings.
Traditional Persian designs and miniatures are also a major source of my inspiration. They describe a fantastical and metaphysical world, something beyond this limited and finite world we live in. It has so much depth and meaning, beautifully blending itself with all aspects of the Persian culture. I feel like when these images and designs are used in a painting, they elevate the art, giving it a grandness and adding further layers of depth, meaning, and story. I think they should be more recognized and appreciated. They are very inspiring to me.
Do you speak through your work? What stories are you telling?
Rather than explaining or writing about it, I like my work to speak for itself. I think that if you create something really well, the work will speak beyond what the artist had intended. I would really love for the viewer to understand and describe the work from their own view and perspective, but in general, the overarching message that I am suggesting through my work is the message of freedom, of being human, of the mysteriousness of being a woman and of womanhood. It speaks of the bravery and determination of woman, and their courageousness that has existed throughout history and continues to exist. I am trying to portray the telling of this inner beauty, the courage and fearlessness of Iranian women. The title of my previous series was “ the women of peace”, which is a title that I can assign to all of my drawings. This idea of a peaceful and safe world rather than one filled with war, are the dreams and inspirations of my drawings.
What would you like to say to other female artists ?
As a female artist, I would like all the female artists in Iran and in the Middle East and beyond to work with courage and persistence, and to be successful in reaching their personal goals.
This interview has been translated into English from Farsi.
To see more of Alemeh's work visit her Instagram page @alemeh_bagherian