The Painter of Iran s Lost Landscapes

The self-taught, innovative artist, resident of Iran, Ali Faramarzi presents some styles of modern painting, emotional images and insight conveyed through the forms of trees, walls, texture, paint density, lights and shades. Holding a two-week exhibition at Seyhoon Gallery in Loss Angeles and giving a speech in Sokhan Society on the history of Iranian contemporary painting, Ali Faramarzi also delivered a speech along with a one-day training workshop convened at the invitation of the students of Stanford University in Northern California. Faramarzi opened his speech by giving a brief history of Iranian painting prior to and during Safavid era and explained about what happened to Iranian painting in this period. Afterwards he went to the issues such as influence of Iranian Constitutional Revolution on the Iranians and consequently on the artists viewpoint. Having discussed painting of 1960s as a significant, cultural decade, he addressed the condition of painting during 1979 Revolution and afterwards. He spoke about the influence of war and Revolution on the thought and cultural events and stated, “I believe that these two elements caused a change in the traditional attitude toward art and released much potential into the artistic society of Iran. The flourishing of culture and painting today is rooted in the events of this era.” Faramarzi exposed the characteristics of his drawings and use of texture during a one-day workshop, held at Stanford University and stated, “delivering speech, I practically showed the discriminations between style and volume, and discussed the differences between miniature and three-dimensional western painting.” The Painter of Iran s Lost Landscapes In different stages of Ali Faramarzi s career, sometimes you discern his tendency toward color and sometimes toward texture. Furthermore the affectionate rhythm and sense of movement, the excitement and passion within the work, display his exploration of innovative forms and novel shapes as well as avoidance of repetition. In the memory of these works, one can find out some traces of nostalgia for the old neighborhoods and painter s birthplace, and the attempt for revitalizing these forgotten natural landscapes out of the devouring urban environment. An Interview with Ali Faramarzi What mostly inspires you to start a new work, a thought or an emotion? It is not always the same. Sometimes before painting you have a conception of what you are to create. However what finally appears on the canvas may not be exactly the same as what you had imagined. Sometimes it is as like as writing a poem; you have a vague feeling and start seeking your inner self and approaching to that vague sense on the paper. Of course how much you succeed or fail and to what extend your first conception may change, all are unpredictable. The subject of most of your works is natural landscapes. Why do you find so much intimacy with these natural subjects? Landscape does not necessarily refer to the nature or trees, but to whatever is before our eyes. In different stages of my career, I've made attempt to be close to my landscape; living in the city I painted urban landscapes and addressed my problems in the city while in some stages, pursuant to my interest in nature, I have focused on nature, tried to get closer to it and depict it through my own impression. However the shapes of trees are dominant in your tableaus, even when you address urban environment, your main focus is on the nature rather than urban features. You are right. Comparing these two parts of my works, what you will find more is nature in the sense of trees and natural landscapes. But this is not limited just to trees. Most often I have practiced with the surfaces; the surfaces mostly representing walls. However what is the most significant point in these searches and analysis is expressing a cultural sense beyond them. I did my best to follow my own cultural view or that of the society where I have grown in and get as close as possible to them using the simple tools and compositions. I have no pretension but I try to face honestly with my audience. Do you accept that in your paintings, form is the most significant element? Does not form dominate meaning in these works? The ultimate achievement of a work of art would be obtained when the artist succeeds in creating a harmony and unity between form, subject and his emotion. If this harmony was achieved in a work of art, then it would be a successful work capable of communicating with the audience, and if fails in this regard, then the work would have some defects. At present, after several decades of continuous artistic practice, what do you believe is the most important change in your method? I think this new stage, of which some instances was exhibited at Loss Angeles exhibition, enjoys some passion and excitement through which I have tried to be faithful to my own emotions and seek them; this passion and excitement required color contrast, some sense of movement and dynamism which are present in these works. I am a self-taught painter without any experience of academic studies. What I have for now is gained through experimenting different styles of painting. These quest and explorations may obviously seem different in some stages. However beyond them all I have sought to achieve what I needed to express as a painter. Biography of the Self-taught Painter Ali Faramarzi was born in 1951 in Imamzadeh Yahya district, Tehran, and grew up in the maze of alleys of that district. Regarding Petgar as his guide to the world of art and painting he developed his painting techniques from the very beginning by drawing and painting nature. A self-taught artist, Faramarzi learned from the impressionist artists that the object features change in changing lights. He learned from Cezanne (the French painter), to simplify nature into geometric forms. The symbolists disclosed the power of mental distortion to him and he learned architectural composition from Picasso. Faramarzi has attended several solo and group exhibitions: Italian Cultural Society, Niavaran Cultural Center, Faramarzi Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art, Anar Cultural Center, Kosar Gallery, Barg Gallery, Contemporary Artists group exhibition at International Fair. This artist has already won two scholarships of Young Painters as well as the scholarship of Academy of Rome in Italy.

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