I was arrested four times! All by Iran's morality police for not wearing hijab properly. Last time they took a photo of me holding a plaque with an 8-digit number. Like criminals. Just because I rolled my sleeves up on a hot summer day in Tehran!
When I moved to the US, I had a lot of first-time adventures. But feeling the breeze on my ear was a thrilling experience that I will never forget. It was a bitterly sweet moment. The satisfying sensation made me wonder how many more joyful moments are taken from the everyday life of Iranians. This ongoing interaction between the present and past constantly affects my art as an Iranian woman and has become the most important source of inspiration in my art.
In my works, I create a collaged delusion of a dreamy and quiet environment in which small details invite the viewer to step closer and linger. I employ layers of drawings, print, and transferred photos. Incorporating the monoprint of objects I have used (like hijab, braided hair, or kitchen glove) offers viewers traces of my personal life. It provides each piece with a distinctive and irreplaceable history.
The technique I use also reflects my thought process. My mixed media art with layers of transferred images echoes (my) life. I have some control over the process, but the outcome is not fully predictable. When I make art, I recreate my world built upon some decisions I made and some inherited components that I am not in the power to change or control. Therefore, the result has always some unforeseen details that I embrace passionately.
- Azi Amiri