Born in Iran in 1981, Nazanin Pouyandeh arrived in Paris at the age of 18, where she still lives and works. A student at the Beaux-Arts from 2000 to 2005, where she was accepted with a collage project, she learned to paint with the Dutch painter Pat Andrea. She has just completed an exhibit, Ruins and Pleasures, at the Sator Gallery.
Why did you agree to respond to the Colas Foundation's commission?
I have a great respect for commission work. In the history of art, painters often worked this way: consciously, the works were addressed to a large number of people, to the people. Today, this notion has almost disappeared. Too bad. I like the idea of publicizing a work of art. Painting is a window on the world, not a closed door.
What do Roads mean to you?
A passage - physical or mental - from one place to another, but also the path of the creative process. When I start painting, I have a rough idea of where I want to go, and then I let myself be guided. One created element leads to another and takes me elsewhere. This road is very symbolic of my way of working: by associations of ideas, the road’s sinuosity led me to the snake.
What inspires your painting?
Mankind, existential concerns, primitive impulses such as desire, fear, violence, the struggle for survival, are always at the center of my paintings. In each of us, there is light and there is dark. These opposing forces pulling us are found in my works. Hungry for images, I feed on all kinds of visual, cinematographic, pictorial, and all cultural sources. Japanese prints, African primitive art, Indian and Persian miniatures, Italian Renaissance, everything influences me. Citizen of the world, I built myself while traveling. Painting is also a way of appropriating the unknown that fascinates me, of opening myself to the world. I believe in the theory of the collective unconscious. My work is a nod to these images that bring us together, wherever we come from.