MUNTHE ART MONDAY: LALEH KHORRAMIAN
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Laleh Khorramian. I was born in Tehran, Iran and emigrated at a young age to Orlando, Florida, where I lived through my teen years. For the past ten years I have made the Mid-Hudson Valley my home, where I live with my daughter Aria.
In my work, I rely on accidents of fate found in stains and microscopic marks to develop imagined cosmologies. I search for worlds just beyond the concrete, in order to construct a visual framework that goes beyond the bonds of time, space, geography, and culture.
As an interdisciplinary artist, my work of the past decade has spanned stop-motion animation, textiles and collage. In each case, meaning is generated out of the physical properties of the medium and the heart of most of my work emerges from drawing and painting.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your Career?
I've felt support and I've experienced the contrary from being a female artist and a mother. It doesn't change how motivated I feel and the total energy I put into my work. I value vulnerability as strength. The most influential people are women who are unapologetic in their work. Materiality is interesting and specific to the theme of the work. I love to work with textiles because of their softness and domesticity, yet to use them in ways that are powerful and bold. Since I cut up both textiles and my own paintings, it ends up very unlike how it started out.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
My influences are always shifting, and not only visual artists. The Portuguese artist Mumtazz, who was a dear friend of mine. Some work I am looking at or have always looked at… Tala Madani, Mickalene Thomas, Pussy Riot, Niki de Saint Phalle, Tracy Emin, Nicole Eisenman, Marlene Dumas, Vivienne Westwood, Pam Hogg, Paula Rego, Patty Smith. Artists who create worlds and incorporate different mediums and aspects of life, from craft to esoteric. And are also, unapologetic, possessing a distinct voice.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
I think it's a huge privilege to be female and to be an artist. I don't think about the fact that I'm female nearly as much as I think about how radical the act of being an artist is. I had support but I think there are others who really have to fight for it. As a woman you're still supposed to be easy to deal with.
Being a single mother has its challenges by way of having enough time to work and the energy and demand. I see this across so many female artists I know, even those who aren't single. Women do everything: they are capable of everything, but they still have to fight for what they deserve.
Being a mother has made me more fearless, more confident. It's given me a thicker skin, an even softer nature, and even more compassion. Less to prove. Inevitably, my biggest challenges arise from myself: fighting mental impositions, encountering negative voices… these can be worse than what others bring, and are among the harder things to change.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I hope that my work inspires the viewer to connect with an emotion that feels both familiar and new -- like an image we find totally alien, provoking a feeling we can't describe -- and feel excited by. When something in the work transports us, all kinds of connections ensue. I think connection is what we inherently live for. If my work provokes that, I've done something.
Laleh is wearing our JACEY dress, JANESSA coat and JETIVE pants.