Berlin Kunst

Interview with Media Esfarjani

Before moving to Berlin to study fine arts at Universität der Künste, Media Esfarjani studied English literature and art education in Frankfurt.
Media Esfarjani in her studio
Media Esfarjani in her studio

Where do you find inspiration?
I find my greatest sources of influence in literature, classical music, and art history. I like the idea of reading a text, looking at or listening to a piece that has been examined by many before me, and yet, in spite of the decades or even centuries between the time of its creation and now, I still discover something in it that speaks to me very intimately and unattached of time.

„Stillleben mit müden Blumen", 200 cm x 180 cm,  oil on canvas
„Stillleben mit müden Blumen“, 200 cm x 180 cm, oil on canvas

How would you describe your creative process?
I like the contrast between working physically dynamically in my larger works and working almost claustrophobically with tiny brushes in my smaller works – as a painter I don’t like to apply the same technique I use for larger scales for smaller scales because different formats require different approaches. So, I paint larger formats with my hands only, as the brush is merely an extension of the arm and thus, creates emotional distance. I also prefer to make use of my right hand as a left-handed person because I like the lack of physical control in this dynamic process. Planning works ahead doesn’t work for me because, in the end, it will turn out different anyway; a painting is created during the process of communicating with the materials, as cheesy as that may sound. And when I feel that it takes too much control over me in the sense that I suddenly become too cautious or that I find myself adjusting a fragment of the painting to the rest instead of treating all parts equally carelessly, I have the rule that I have to destroy the complete picture and start all over again.

What topics are you interested in?
The themes which seem to accompany all of my works are greed, (romantic) performance, and self-presentation. For example, there’s this excellent painting by Jacques Louis David about Napoleon on a majestic white horse serving as propaganda to convince the people of his great military skills. The painting wants to show us how Napoleon led the soldiers over the Alps courageously, but actually, in reality, he was sitting on a mule and the crossing wasn’t as heroic as the painting tries to tell us. I find that very funny because it reminds me of how guys pose next to a motorcycle on online dating profile pictures, but when they appear to pick you up they are on one of these rented e-scooters.

What is very important to you personally?
(does not have to have anything to do with art) Honestly, I will give you a very hedonistic response to that question: fresh flowers and good food. And Lego.

Which country or location most inspires you?
Actually, my apartment offers me a great deal of inspiration because it is filled with books, movies, music, fresh flowers, good food, and lego.

Media Esfarjani
Napoleon auf seiner Ducati, 135 cm x 165 cm, oil and acrylic on canvas.

What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on a series of wall rugs in the form of paintings. I like the idea of abstracting furniture into useless decorative objects which highlights my idea of declaring anything or anyone that I want as an object of my romantic desire.

Greetings to: anyone who’s taking the time to read this. Thank you and have a pleasant day.

Media Esfarjani –