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Art

1423;
Paintings

By Behnam Farahpour
August 2, 2003
The Iranian

My solo exhibition will be on display at the Tryst Lounge in Washingtoon DC during August 2003. Reception: Tuesday, August 5th, 2003, 7-9 pm.

A segment of time; nine years to be exact. This show represents my work from the age of 14 to my present age of 23. These paintings were completed in the last few years but the under paintings began in my early days as a painter. The semicolon at the end of 1423 indicates a separation of the past nine years and next segment of time. I feel that this portion of my work is complete and now I am ready to move forward.

Changes in style, medium and subject interest me; however, this work displays the loose and expressive technique that has evolved and become my own over the years.

I enjoy juxtaposing objects and subjects to create a collage of cultural and religious issues. Bringing together different elements and witnessing the viewer's reaction gives me satisfaction. But the process of creating work is what interests me the most.

My paintings don’t follow a format or specific subject matter. They are to be viewed and hung in various ways without following a set standard.

My experience as a designer has allowed me to foster an appreciation for typography and calligraphy. In my latest works, I have found that type adds an interesting design element that does not exist in my earlier paintings. I feel that I design my paintings more than just paint them.

The subject of a majority of these painting is figures of my friends or relatives that have migrated to the states. Some have stayed in the same fashion and refuse to change their Persian habits while others have assimilated to western culture and have become more American. I am not making a judgment on one or the other, but trying to show the differences between them. Current issues need to be addressed rather than kept behind a curtain.

I try to arrange western and Iranian cultural and historical symbols together. Some blend better than others. I choose not to use icons or advertisements of corporations in an effort to not be categorized as a pop artist.

I started making postcards during my first year of college as a journal of each day. They reflect the days that I have had - some good and some bad. I love making them; arranging the images, writing over them and mailing it out.

Working in design has allowed me to see that collaboration with others can result in better communication of an idea. If you are an artist and would like to collaborate I welcome all ideas and concepts for new projects. Please contact me.

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