We bring you the second installment of Artists in Conversation. Here is an interview with artist Mahvash Joorabchi.
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Tara Gallery: Why is art important?
Mahvash Joorabchi: Art, in any form, provides a sense of calm to human beings; it is a protection mechanism for humanity. Art also bestows certain gentleness on life.
TG: How do artists perceive life?
MJ: Through one’s art, an artist tries to help life’s beauties overcome its problems and hardships, so it brings more peace and calm to the audience.
TG: What is the most memorable response to your work you’ve heard to date?
MJ: That I work freehanded and also work on details.
TG: What is your favorite work of art?
MJ: Vincent van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms (1890)
TG: Who is your favorite artist?
MJ: Vincent van Gogh
TG: What is your style of work?
MJ: Modern Realism.
TG: Please tell us a little about your work.
MJ: I work with oil on canvas using pallet knives and paintbrushes. Sometimes I use acrylic to draw the outlines. I use these materials to capture and depict the inspiration I receive from nature and forests. Throughout my life, nature has always been my source of inspiration. Trees are symbols of perseverance and unconditional love that exist in life. I am most interested in the trunks of trees rather than their leaves. To me, leaves are a symbol of life’s colorfulness, but mortality, while tree trunks give me strength and fortitude to continue living.
TG: How has your work evolved over the years?
MJ: Through exhibitions and discovering more wonders in tree trunks. Also, by understanding three elements– movement, volume, and color.
TG: What work of art do you most identify with?
MJ: Sohrab Sepehri’s trees.
TG: Tell us a little of your educational and artistic background.
MJ: I have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Damavand College in Tehran [a four year Missionary American liberal arts institution which closed in 1979]; I obtained a “3B certificate” in French from the Iran-France Cultural Institute and another institute in Paris, and I have continued learning French until now; I was the library director at the Industrial Management Institute before the [1979 Islamic] Revolution; and I am a member of the Society of Iranian Painters.
TG: What is most integral to the work of an artist?
MJ: Proportions, colors, and ultimately, beauty and the ability to inspire.
TG: What is the artist’s role in society?
MJ: They are the deliverers of beauty and tranquility to their societies.
TG: What inspires you the most?
MJ: Nature and trees.
TG: Should the arts be funded?
TG: How does funding affect art? That is to say, to what extent should financial support interfere with the work of the artist?
MJ: To the extent that it frees the artist from the anxieties of earning a basic living so that they can freely focus their efforts on what really matters– their art.
TG: Of all the opinions that you’ve heard, which opinion or idea has affected you the most?
MJ: That my paintings have soul and depth and transfer to viewers a sense of being in the nature.
TG: What is the biggest issue facing the artist of today?
MJ: The lack of good quality art supplies and, of course,…everything being so expense!
How has your childhood/upbringing affected your art?
MJ: My late father always loved trees and forests and the paintings in our home always featured such scenes. A painting by Manouchehr Niazi has had the greatest impact on me since childhood.
TG: What effect do you hope your art has on the world?
MJ: To change people’s points of view on trees and attract them to the wonder and beauty of tree trunks.
TG: What suggestions or advice would you give to a young or upcoming artist?
MJ: To study and work more and also to find a different point of view on the subjects of their choosing.
To view current available works by Mahvash, please visit our Catalog.