0220 GMT August 18, 2022
We all may be familiar with the stereotypical ‘desperate artist’, who will go to any lengths necessary just to make something out of an unfinished painting. As Francis Bacon argued, “feelings of desperation and unhappiness” will, in the end, serve the struggling artist better, since they “stretch [their] whole sensibility.”
“Some of my best works, the ones I really like now, were completed just as I was about to destroy them,” said Negar Qiamat, the 38-year-old painter whose current medium of choice is acrylic on canvas.
“They were magically done in my most desperate moments, just when I was about to give up on them,” she said.
Negar officially embarked on her career in art in 2015 with a photo exhibition that was “a success.” She, however, was not satisfied with the fact that she merely reproduced reality through an external device. Therefore, with the full support of her family, especially her father, she ventured into painting.
“I didn’t want anything to come between me and my work. I wanted my art to be my own reality,” she said, pausing to find the right words, “I follow some kind of an aesthetic that could get as close to reality as possible.”
A few years back, the visual communication graduate decided to repaint the walls of her atelier. As she was looking at one of the caulked walls, the spots caught her eyes.
“The spots were situated so freely, beautifully and artistically that the whole wall looked like an artwork. It was so far removed from artificiality that I wanted to be able to paint like this,” she said.
Thus, she started to look for spots everywhere, practicing and painting in her own workshop for a long time to learn as much as she can about her personal style of painting. In addition, she drowned herself in the study of contemporary art.
“And now I have this happening-based method of painting that allows me to be playful, too. That’s why I go with the acrylic, it dries quicker and lets me work faster,” she said.
In her personal life, Negar does not want to relinquish control. She needs to be able to know where she is going and how. Yet, she chooses to work on paintings that dictate to her their own terms.
“I’m a risk-taker in that sense. If something tickles me, I have to follow it through. If an image is stuck in my head, it has to come alive on canvas,” she said decisively.
Even so, she feels that there are still many obstacles in her way to become the sort of artist she wants to be.
“There was this one painting which almost killed me. I moved heaven and earth to control it and finish it, but I couldn’t,” she said.
And yet, an image saved the many layered work she later titled ‘The Blue Sun, The Blue Elephant’.
“I saw something very old, rotting away. And although I wasn’t looking for shapes, something like a sun, and something like an elephant presented themselves to me,” she said.
“It’s as if my paintings are in on it with me to find a way to reclaim them.”