How are you? What does the current situation in Paris look like?
I am doing good. What matters most to me is to find inspiration to paint every day. Whatever happens, whatever the situation. Painters spends most of their time in their studio. I cannot say the current situation with the COVID-19 in Paris impacts me too hard. However, on a daily basis, not seing faces of people in the streets – because of the mask – is very strange and sad above all. I used to enjoy watching faces when I walk.
Your visual language is very recognisable and memorable – strong contrasts, lots of skin and untypical poses. How did it come about?
I think the origins of a visual language for a painter is rarely very conscious. As for me, it comes from how I see the world and what I want to express, but also from my utopias.
It looks like a film scene. How do you describe your topics?
In my paintings, I deal with existential subjects such as desire, war, fear, love, death. Then, I borrow different forms of expression, which inspire me without any hierarchy – such as old paintings, cinema, the primitive arts, etc. I always need a strong human presence in my paintings. I also often ask my friends to pose for me and I take pictures of them. And indeed, the shooting looks like the backstage of a film shooting. The characters are often paused in a cliffhanger action, which is hard to decrypt.
Privacy is often a secret. Something of your own that you don’t expose. But artistic work has a direct link with intimacy. In any case, art is a creative and poetic form of enhancing intimacy and showing it to an audience.
What do you do when you don’t paint? What do you enjoy?
I love to read, watch good movies, go on great trips and see my close friends. Even if these moments of life may have no connection with painting, I always use them in one way or another to create my paintings.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
Despite the current situation, I had a very busy year in terms of exhibitions and events. The coming months will be quieter ones. Starting February 2021 I am participating in a collective exhibition entitled ex africa at the musée du quai Branly. Then I will participate with my gallerist Vincent Sator in the next edition of Art Brussels in the spring if all goes well.
Nazanin Pouyandeh – www.nazaninpouyandeh.com