Farnaz Akhlaghi graduated in Fine Arts from Soureh University and Jahad Daneshgahi in 1998 and 1999, respectively, in Tehran, Iran. She then pursued her education in the field of art in Germany and Greece.

Farnaz’s works are related to ancient seals and symbols hidden in museums and books, dating back to 5000 years B.C. She believes that such seals, symbols and ancient myths have had a common impact on human identity and on the behavior and feelings of all people across the globe. The inspiration behind her art pieces are from the traditional colors seen on the tiling of mosques, architectures of ancient cities such as Isfahan, Kashan, Shiraz, as well as on ancient glassware and antique Persian carpets and kilims. Through the fluidity of antique and eye-catching colors and the dispersion of lines and hidden images, Farnaz creates movements within her paintings that invites the viewer to travel to the past and shape a symbolic yet abstract space that links yesterday’s world to today’s modern life.

AMENOR Contemporary art gallery is honored to present abstract paintings of Farnaz Akhlaghi for the first time in Norway in a duo exhibition from 05 JUNE until 27 JUNE 2021

– How would you describe your creative process?

My entire world consists of my paintings and I co-exist with them. When I start a new painting, that means a brand-new day and experience has taken place. An experience consisting of nature and animals, both mythical and realistic, and historical subjects in composition with human subjects and figures. 

Despite the chaotic world outside my studio, my life is basically expressed through my paintings. A life filled with love and peace and friendship between humans, animals, and nature. The rocks and caves presented in my paintings have a feminine form. In my process, the colors and forms are intertwined into abstraction.

– What inspires you?

I have been painting since childhood. Throughout my years of being involved within the art world, I have become acquainted with different symbols, motifs and concepts. They arouse my interest, leaving me with more themes to develop and elaborate in my work. While mythology has become part of my identity and subconsciously plays the main theme in my work, it also remains abstract in my mind. Painting and my studio take me away from all the hustle and bustle and I become closer to myself than ever before. Mythology is seen throughout my practice and is represented in the form of abstraction in my paintings.

– You have studied both in Iran and in Greece, and currently have an art studio in Germany. All three of these countries are rich in history and therefore, the influence from different cultures is visible throughout the body of your work. Could you explain that?

One of my main interests is knowing about civilizations and experiencing their culture.

I admire living in different countries even for a short period of time and becoming immersed into the heart of that culture. For that reason, the countries and cities I have visited have had a direct impact on my mind and therefore, my art. One example is lack of freedom in some places that has increased the desire to showcase subjects such as courage and resistance in my work. Such experience has also encouraged me to become a thinker and apply my knowledge and learnings directly into my work.

– What would you like for your audience to take away from your work? 

When I paint, I become immersed in my own world where my being vividly exists and I am enabled to create something mysterious created through scattered colors. In fact, I attempt to make a strong bond with various colours in my paintings. The feeling of pleasure created through the mix and match of different colours creates a sense of mystery. Yet, I continue to leave my audience with the freedom to perceive what feeling captures them.

– Could you explain the use of color and composition to evoke emotion in your pieces?

 I use two main methods. First is the incorporation of myths and motifs in an abstract way and second, I use antique-looking colours to imply that sort of impression. 

– Could you walk us through your process? Do you start with any sketches? How much planning do you do ahead of time? If you do have a pre-painting process, what do you intend to overcome at each stage?  

As previously mentioned, I have been studying different civilizations for many years and I also have been researching different symbols and myths throughout the world. In fact, the essence of these symbols and myths are not only thought provoking but they subconsciously appear in my paintings. 

– Abstract paintings can sometimes feel overwhelming since they rely so heavily on colour, space and even patterns. How do you choose your pallet and what is your theme?

Abstract elements deeply satisfy me. In addition to my paintings being abstract, I like to see forms in my compositions. Although many of my artist friends think that an abstract work should not have any form, I completely disagree with any restrictions and the artist is free to bring any color and shape into their work. That being said, the abstract forms in my paintings contain both bright and ancient-themed colors integrated into modern shape.

– What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

I believe that we humans do are best in our life to live better. With my paintings, I show first to myself and then to my audience that the world can be lived in an instant by seeing a good painting or hearing a good music of life. Lived for just a moment and that is why I would like my paintings to be installed on the walls of galleries, museums and houses in different countries.

– Similarly, how are studies important to your work? What kind of studies do you do and how do they strengthen your work and your understanding of art?

My studies are in history, art history, art criticism, art philosophy, aesthetics and mythology. And in my opinion, not only me, but for all artists, reading such books is necessary for their work, and especially reading and knowing these books, as well as seeing movie theater and listening to good music, has a direct impact on my artistic work.