Ebrahim Mohammadian was born in 1985 in Tabriz, Iran. His art education started in high school, mostly inspired, as he said, by his older sister and her sculptures. Later on, he enrolled at the Arts University in Yazd where he was studying at the Department of Painting. Meanwhile, he continued to develop his art skills while studying for thirteen years at the workshop of one of the most famous Iranian contemporary painters – Mohammad Fasounaki. This kind of artistic background has left a significant mark on Ebrahim`s works and the profound philosophy hidden in his artworks. In my opinion, he is an extraordinary painter, sculptor and jeweller, completely committed to his art.
How did you started to do art?
When I was 18 years old, I started to do something that will eventually turn to art, later in time. My teacher was famous painter Mohammad Fasounaki. Before that, I could say that I did not pay much attention on art in general. Suddenly, I have started realizing that we all have potential to be what ever we want, just if we accept the rules and start a precarious path of self- knowledge. After understanding the mentioned acknowledgement, first time in my life I have felt that I was human and that I exist. That was the start of my life as an artist and as an eternal seeker in the field of exploring myself. I am sure art brings and returns people to themselves allowing them to understand the world we are living in.
How has your work develop since your first steps in art field?
My first works in painting were academy figure drawings, nothing more or less. As I mentioned, in the beginning I was a pure technician, painting without any deeper understanding. Then, when I reached my milestone, I comprehended anatomy. The next level showed up and I have started to think about who and what am I painting. I have started to analyze myself, my family, the country where I was born, my friends etc. – and realized that relations are interwoven with harmony. There is a reason for everything. I really feel well when I am able to notice harmony in everything – started from everyday sundries to the huge scales of the Universe. Through my art I started to feel that we all are just like one body, living by the laws of harmony. I have learned these facts from my paintings and sculptures and that is the most meaningful accomplishment that I have achieved while doing art.
Where do you seek for inspiration?
Inspiration and imagination are endless. If we assume that a human could live 1000 years, his/her inspiration would grow day by day. We do not know what is going to happen in the next second – and that is the reason to be inspired and to imagine – too. Every moment we should have our eyes wide open and try to discover the universe hidden in us. This way I evoke my childhood – I am curious, I want to learn and explore, thus I am never bored. It is insanely beautiful how many details could be discovered in a single dot, while we still did not comprehend the abundance of meanings that it carries.
In many of your paintings and sculptures you prefer a small, intimate scale. What do these little figures represent? What are the benefits of small – scale comparing to large – scale and what techniques do you use in your artwork?
While working on a large – scale art works I need more time to finish the painting or sculpture. Consequently, I am thinking about my work much slower. In the other hand, small – scale allows me to work faster and think faster in the same time. The forms and the ideas are changing quickly and it is much more challenging for me. Also, by using small or large scale, I am trying to represent the kind of people I am painting or sculpting. Sometimes, in the real life someone is big, important, self – confident, but his/her soul is empty – and vice versa – someone who is in some way impaired has a deep, profound soul. When it comes to techniques that I use, generally I work with oil colors on paper, using needle to achieve small details. Sometimes I do the offset technique. In the other hand, when making sculptures, I use very wide variety of techniques and materials in my artwork.
What is your aim as an artist?
My aim as an artist is to get to know myself and the world that I am living in as much as I can. I am learning from art. For example at the beginning, I thought there was harmony just in color or form, but then I have realized that harmony is everywhere. I do not feel that I am better or more valuable than anyone else. We are all just different parts of one source. Maybe this is not true, but it helps me to understand and to feel love and compassion for everyone.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
I do not have it. My studio could be anywhere. I use all the materials that come across. I am thankful for any opportunity that appears in my life.
How does your daily art routine look like?
My daily routine is art, literally. Since morning till night, I am working, usually few different tasks during the day. I call it complete commitment to art. I do my paintings, sculptures and now, jewelry which is very appealing to me and I am planning to work more in that field in the future.
Do you make a living of your art?
Unfortunately, I still cannot make living of my art. Comparatively, I have to work on the ordered pieces to gain the amount that is sufficient to make living and to continue working on my own art.
How well could art connect different worlds?
It is absolutely helping in connection between different worlds. Art is the most universal language. Artists have the power to see things differently. Many unexpected things could be understood while analyzing the world we are living in. I see the world as a mirror, where I can see myself anytime, anywhere! Through my art, I am trying to understand the variety of relations and their importance for our, both individual and collective, uprising.
What do you think about your upcoming exhibition with artist Göksu Gül?
It is the first time that I will exhibit with a Turkish artist here in Istanbul. I think it is a good opportunity and audience will be able to see and value our individual approaches to art.
“When Two Worlds Collide” exhibition is the result of Göksü Gül and Ebrahim Mohammadian’s joint observation process on investigations of nature. Both artists’ patterns and paintings on returning to the nature, which they feel to be detached and distanced from, reference their search for “other world(s).” Working mainly on micro details, the artists discuss the interaction between invisible living beings in nature and possible life forms. What do the supra-natural beings oil painted by Ebrahim Mohammadian on small surfaces observe? Does the annihilation of nature solely affect humans? What other values detached from us exist within this annihilation? Searching answers to these questions and subsequently allowing their works to interact with one another, the artists’ joint exhibition “When Two Worlds Collide” can be visited from May 18 to June 28, 2016 at BLOK art space. During thecourse of the exhibition, talks will be held on two separate dates to evaluate the art practices of both artists, investigate and discuss supra-natural beings frequently seen in Ebrahim Mohammadian’s works.
April 2016, Interview by Ena Mulavdic