Roya Khadjavi Projects
Safarani sisters’ artworks are manifestations of their ever-evolving exploration of identity. Through their portraits of each other, they seek to find beauty in drama. In this latest series of works, they portray a woman’s voyage through life that has taught her to turn every battle into an opportunity for self-knowledge and strength. These are depictions of a woman, who when facing hardship and suffering in life, tries to appease and listen to her inner voice and make her inner universe less affected by the reality of an ugly world outside. Her choice of being dominated by her own self and covered in a buffer of a world of her own making has made her strong, resilient, intelligent and thoughtful. Through any look that she gives to the audience she opens a window for the viewer to discover her inner universe. Her gaze penetrates through and shows a glimpse of her inner beauty with a concise, complex and rich representation. Nonetheless, she has chosen to stay quiet until the right time to rise, and take an active role in reaching out to the world through her own voice.
The Safarani sisters’ work has been on display extensively in the United States and internationally in solo and group shows. Their innovative “video paintings” have been acquired by the Peabody Essex Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Twin sisters Bahareh and Farzaneh Safarani (Iranian, b. 1990) began painting at the age of thirteen. They earned their B.A. in painting from Tehran University and M.F.A from Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts. Currently working and residing in Massachusetts, over the past few years the Safarani sisters took on a journey in incorporating video and performance art into their passion for painting. Their pioneering video-paintings and performances have been acclaimed as thought provoking and transformative artistic contributions that weave together loose but striking narratives.
The sculptural paintings of the Alignment series consist of my hand-made, -fired, and -painted porcelain works mounted on wooden boards. I fashion each piece literally from raw blocks of earth: forming, carving, and arranging them in correspondence to the spirit of the moment. I also maintain and adapt the experimental qualities of texture, color, and composition of my previous large-format abstract painting series. Firing each piece multiple times at over 2,000° Fahrenheit, I sometimes incorporate liquid 24 karat gold, which solidifies in my kiln. Porcelain clay fires to pure white and is extremely fine in texture, even translucent when thin. It is the least plastic of the ceramics and therefore the hardest to work with. But porcelain reflects pigments, glazes, and gold so beautifully that for thousands of years this exquisite material has been the most prized among ceramic arts around the world. An ancient and essential alchemy seems to connect humans and earth, such that in many cultures, the creation narrative tells of our species being made from a clay substance infused with spirit. Furthermore, porcelain’s anthropological history involves a number of persistent tensions: fluidity and fixity, labor and luxury, desire and fulfillment. In the Alignment series I assimilate these material and spiritual legacies while drawing on my native and cultivated knowledge of renowned Persian traditions in ceramic arts, as well as my training and extensive practice in European porcelain techniques. Each piece in this body of work represents a process and product of aligning energies toward a delicate balance available in the minimalism of the present moment.
Aida Izadpanah lives and works in New York City, specializing in large-format mixed media and porcelain sculptural painting. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Tehran University (Iran). She was a Teaching Assistant in mixed media at The Art Students League of New York (ASL) from 2012-14. Recent solo exhibitions include Emancipation (Stony Brook, New York, 2017), Transcendence (New York City, 2015), and Revelation (Los Angeles, 2013). Recent group shows include Material Culture (New York City , 2019), Art Brief IV: Iranian Contemporary San Francisco (San Francisco, 2018), An Art + Design Collaboration: A Curated Selection of Iranian Contemporary Art, ADVOCARTSY and Ryan Saghian (Los Angeles, 2018), If So, What? (San Francisco, 2018), The Poetics of Diaspora: Iranian Contemporary Art (L.A., 2017), States of Being in Abstract (NYC, 2016), Art Brief II: Iranian Contemporary North America (Santa Monica, 2016), ASL Grant Winners Exhibition (NYC, 2016), In the Abstract (Setauket, 2016), and Global Perspective (Bridgehampton and Riverdale, 2015). Distinctions include shortlisted finalist for the 2017 inaugural Behnam Bakhtiar Award (Cote d’Azur, France, 2017); Artist in Residence at Stony Brook University’s Undergraduate College in Arts, Culture, and Humanities (New York, 2017); Fantasy Fountain Fund painting fellowship (Paris, France, 2014); cover story in Lines from the League magazine (2014); distinction and exhibition of Revelation 26 by Chief Curator & Director of Collections of the National September 11 Memorial Museum (2013); and the Jeffery Berman Director’s Award in Collage or Mixed Media from Audubon Artists (2012).
Shirin Hosseinvand is an Iranian American female artist with a bachelor degree in Art (Painting) and Fashion Design from prestigious Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.
With a resume that ranges from Art to Fashion Design, she sees creative projects a thinking process and an ability to transform objects and materials into extraordinary alternate worlds that manifests powerful visions of its creator.
Living and working in different parts of the world, Tehran, Paris, New York, and DC, her focus is mainly on giving an ethnic identity to the concept of globalization and mass production. She believes that globalization and industrialism had developed cultural interaction between nations, but it’s lacking the identity that any culture can offer to a product.
As an Iranian American with a degree in Art and Fashion design, I experiment with various materials to transform traditional or iconic objects. One of these such objects is the aluminum Coca Cola can manufactured everywhere in the world and one of the most visible signatures of American Industry worldwide. Globalization and industrialisation have developed cultural interactions between nations, however this interaction lacks the special identity and cultural uniqueness of each country in the final product.
I was concerned that many old traditional crafts were no longer practiced in their original form. I, therefore, needed to find a way to revive them in a new modern way.
My shiny outsized mosaic mirrored Coke can sculptures help me overcome this struggle. It is my attempt to revive the ancient Persian traditional mirror works which dates back 500 years and was used for decorating ceilings and walls of aristocratic homes and mosques.
The mirrors I use are 1mm thick and 1 cm (0.3”) in a myriad of shapes and create bright, geometric patterns which reflect light in the endless number of directions
– Shirin Hosseinvand, 2020