WRECK PARK

 OMID SHEKARI

  • Art by Omid Shekari
  • Art by Omid Shekari
  • Art by Omid Shekari
  • Art by Omid Shekari

INTERVIEW

ELANA MALLOV

  How do you start your paintings? Do you make preparatory drawings or do you just jump in?

OMID SHEKARI

  Yea, I usually do a lot of sketches and figure out what I’m going to paint and the relationship between the subjects, the stories I want to talk about...and then looking at my drawings, I usually put them together and maybe for a painting I’ll use 3 or 4 drawings.

MALLOV

  Where do your ideas come from? Do you use photographic references or are you just drawing stream of consciousness, and letting them organically appear?

SHEKARI

  I’m trying to not be very specific, I’m not showing a specific people, a specific landscape, architecture. I don’t want to be particular about them, I just want to invent something new. New images that are not like photos. They are like weird deformed figures, something like that.

MALLOV

   So that leads me to my next question, how does the element of surrealism or a kind of magical realism in the paintings affect the possibility of the subject matter? Especially within the last year, it's really apparent it's been a big influence.

SHEKARI

  I wanted to show something around myself, you can call it magical realism or just a kind of realism, for me. I make characters to show something is happening…

MALLOV

  I see the giant head character comes up alot, but he also resembles a child in a way, his small stature...

SHEKARI

  Yea, he doesn't have a body, he has only the feet and the head.

MALLOV

  How does the theme of power or lack of power influence the work?

SHEKARI

  Because I talk about political issues and social issues, power dynamics comes into this context, I’m interested in political relationships and the power dynamics behind them.

MALLOV

  In English?

SHEKARI

  Yea, because I’m speaking about general things, if you write in Persian, it means that I want to speak about Iran, English everyone can really globally understand, that's why I’m using English.

MALLOV

  You have a lot of images that deal with violence, specifically violent acts between men.Is there a reason why you focus on the violence between men and women aren't really in the picture?

SHEKARI

  Basically you're asking me why I paint a lot of violent men? The violence enforces these power relationships that I want to show in this masculine society. The lack of women is due to the fact that when I include a woman into the painting, I see the context is alluding to sexuality, I don’t want the story to read that way.

MALLOV

  Going back to Iran, how accessible are your images there?

SHEKARI

  My work is seen differently in Iran, the people who look at my work, if they are Iranian, they experience the work much differently than American viewers. My work comes out of those shared experiences we have in common, they recognize some part of my painting that I usually don’t hear about from Western viewers responses. I would really like to show my work in Iran.

MALLOV

  You would be able to show it?

SHEKARI

  Yea, it would be possible. I have some works I could show them, but not all of them.

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