Iranian Inspiration

By Fariba Baghi

I was born in Tehran, Iran. Since my early ages, I have always been interested in abstract art work for its stimulation of my imagination. I connect more with this style than any other because it gives me a different perspective for how I see the world around me and sparks my creativity.

My work is mostly inspired by the female character. I choose to draw women because there are many strong female characters in Iran behind the scenes, much like in other places in the world. These women may be holding families together like glue, raising children for our future society, or earning a living for their loved ones without the support of a male partner. I have encountered many such women in my life, one of which was my own mother, who raised five children without the support of anyone after her husband’s death at age 29. My work portrays the many roles Iranian women play at different stages in their lifetime despite limitations imposed on them.

My other sources of inspiration come from traditional Iranian monuments and architecture. I get inspired by historical sights and colors that were used to build them. In this regard, my mission is to represent the culture of Iran combined with my ideas through abstract shapes I paint and similar colors that I organically create myself. There is a color close to Turquoise that is very special to me and I use a lot in my works. I could not find an exact English equivalent word for it, so I call it the ‘Divine’ color. The ‘Divine’ color is extracted from a natural stone called Firoozeh from mountains in the central part of Iran. I try to recreate that color with organic ingredients. I also create other colors that I often find lacking on my palette through mixing organic ingredients such as vegetables, coffee and wine. There is no limit to creativity in life.