Portfolio > Figurative Paintings

Fighter, figure painting, oil painting, feminist art, nude, miniature painting
Venus Ignited
Oil on Hardboard
10 x10”
2018

This piece is part of the Visions of Venus Show at the Zhou B Fine Arts Center in Chicago April 20th-June 8th

Venus is soft and strong. She finds strength in her vulnerability. In the goddess of love, fertility and victory, I see her superpowers as being the ability to transform, to create, and to overcome.

The day after my father’s died (5 days after my little brother’s died) I returned to work. Massaging other people, helping others feel better, hearing about their problems helped to keep my mind occupied. The structure and predictability of work felt safe.
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But what I could no longer do was paint. Not in my normal capacity. I felt spacey, forgetful, unable to concentrate. Painting creatively requires complex thought processes and my brain was occupied trying to process my grief.
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I needed to keep my hands moving though, so I colored. I colored mandalas. I colored them by my dad’s bedside and taped them to the wall where he could see them. After he passed, I started painting copies of fabric prints. This had the same kind of therapeutic effect as coloring.
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In creating this new painting I wanted to incorporate my father’s Iranian aesthetic. This image was formed by overlapping a strong geometric Islamic design with a softer Persian paisley pattern in the background. The figure was painted from an old film still of my younger self rising and strong.
I chose to paint myself as Venus because I see her as a heroine and I think it’s important for all of us to be able to see the hero inside of ourselves.