By Marion Chen
Behnaz paintings aroused much interest by the audience, at the Artival Exibtion at Global Art Gallery
Behnaz is an Iranian painter. On 30th September 2016 her paintings were presented at the Artival Exhibition at Global Art Gallery, arranged by Immigrant Art. Her work was well accepted by the audience, among which people were curious about the meaning of her pictures.
Unemployment led the way back to art
She left Iran and went to Germany when she was 15 years old. Like other asylum seekers, she fled because of war, in the 1980s Islamic revolution. Not being accepted in Germany, she went to the US and lived for a long time. There she met her Danish husband and got married soon afterwards. Since her husband got a PhD offer in Denmark, they moved there in the 1990s.
I just want people to relax and enjoy: Behnaz, Iranian Artist
After Behnaz finished her major in biology at the University of Copenhagen they left Denmark and went to Qatar and Kazakhstan. They returned to Denmark two years ago.
“When I went to Kazakhstan, I gave up working as a biologist because there was no job. So I have to go back to the art. I have done art since I was a child,” Behnaz introduced. “I was educated by Iranian masters, a very old fashion style of art, with a lot of details”.
Behnaz went to an old master specialist in France, who encouraged her not to go back to biology. She has been teaching art since then and has been working as a full-time artist since four years ago. “This is a good switch and I should have done this long time ago”, Behnaz says.
Dreamy instead of dark
Behnaz’s art has followed the styles of the Flemish and Italian art from the 17th century. Instead of making very dark art, Behnaz starts from the middle of the process. Her art pieces are more dreamy-like and are usually involving small people and large flowers. For example, there is a painting with a child riding on an oversized sheep. Because of her biological background, she is concerned about the environment, but her pieces of art also span from environmental questions to the beauty of Iran, picturing the beautiful parts of the country.
A lot of Behnaz’s work has something to do with dreams. For example, a piece of her paintings shows a child flying in the sky, chasing a duck. There is an environmental message behind this image: “There is a mix of Middle Eastern aspects behind the child and the duck in the sky, but that is not Middle Eastern things at all”, Behnaz says.
”It is supposed to depict something called black matter, which is a physic saying that everything in the world is connected by something invisible. I want to show this connectivity between this type of organisms. People are responding extremely happy to my paintings“.
Enjoyable art instead of political
Behnaz is not happy about politics. “Politics just ruin your life”, Behnaz says. “Art should be a little milder. When people hang my pictures at their homes, they shouldn’t be feeling sad or as if I am provoking something. I just want people to relax and enjoy”.
As an immigrant artist with a background as a refugee, Behnaz thinks that what she experienced as a refugee many years ago, is what Syrians are going through now. “People spit at refugees and acting very badly. It shows me, that they haven’t learned anything from the past”, Behnaz says.