MUNTHE ART MONDAY: FARAH ABOLGHASAEM
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Farah Abolghasem. I am an Iranian artist, and I live in Tehran. I have been working as a professional artist for over 30 years, and I have had exhibitions in Iran, UAE, USA, and Europe. In 2002, I was chosen by Tehran’s Contemporary Art Museum to spend a year living and working in Paris at the Cité International des Arts. I participated in a group exhibition in Paris and was awarded first prize by the mayor. In addition to painting, I also have experience designing and creating jewelry, and I have taught painting at a university in Tehran for a while. And then, I have a daughter who studies opera directing in Vienna, Austria.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
First of all, I admire the work of the Persian artists Parvaneh Etemadi and Lili Matin Daftari. Besides that, I appreciate Marina Abramović and Georgia O’Keeffe’s ability to break free from tradition. In the world of literature, I love Marguerite Duras and Virginia Woolf. Lastly, I commend the actress, Ingrid Bergman. Her personality and bold lifestyle are very interesting to me.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
Being a woman has affected my career in a way where, despite all the social issues that have held me back, I have used my femininity, my sensitivity, and my world view in my own personal artistic expression. My experiences, my attention to detail, my attentiveness to my surroundings, and even hard and painful issues in life have become an inspiration for me to continue my art. A part of my life is the experiences that I've had, but the most important part is how I have portrayed them in my work. Turning bitterness into sweetness: I owe this to my being as a woman.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Being a woman has caused a few challenges in my artistic and social life. I had a young daughter, and my studio was not in our apartment. In addition to being a wife and mother, I was a professional artist. Some things were also difficult in my social life. But I tried my best and I worked hard and learned that if I want to survive, I must stay strong and work hard. So, I decided to practice building a better life for myself day by day.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I want my audience to respect my work, sympathize with it, and view it with honesty and intimacy. I try to depict my day-to-day thoughts and the atmosphere of my studio. I spend a lot of my hours there, both day and night, and a big part of me is a part of that space.