A drawing… A line. Meeting with Nazanin Pouyandeh
Nazanin Pouyandeh’s narrative drawings are full of imaginative and imaginary references. Detailed and licked, each sheet has a memory strength specific to human history. Born in 1981 in Tehran, Nazanin Pouyandeh deciphers this surrounding world marked by the continuous flow of images. Dreamed realities or real illusions? This delicious cultural mix, which everyone fully embraces, is regularly exhibited at Galerie Sator. Finally, Nazanin Pouyandeh is nominated for the Drawing Now 2019 Award.
Marlène Pegliasco: Could you present your career path?
Nazanin Pouyandeh: I was born in Iran and arrived in France at the age of 18 in 1999. I have always drawn, I even won a prize at a children’s art competition in India in 1993 and 1994. When I arrived in Paris, I took the entrance exam to the École des Beaux Arts with a file of works from the collage. In fact, they were image compositions that I tore up in magazines. Over time, I realized that this approach was a way of feeling closer to the culture I had just discovered and of appropriating this new civilization. At the Beaux-Arts, I took Pat Andrea’s course, which suggested that I transpose these collages into painting. The notion of images is rooted in my work. I grew up in a country marked by propaganda images, war markers. These were my only visuals and I work on this way that images have to be engraved in our memory and thus to permanently mark our own history.
M.P.: This grip on reality is very present.
N.P.: The impact of the image is terrible on memory and completely influences the pictorial vision. We are overwhelmed by this world of images, there are images everywhere!
I have always had a very strong relationship with realism. What interests me is to give the viewer a pictorial illusion in order to disturb and destabilize him. The elements do not seek reality. For a long time, I used anonymous photography: advertising, images taken from the Internet, popular images… But now I take photographs of acquaintances and friends so that a stronger human relationship can be forged. People are recognizable, their poses are more precise, and above all, I have them posed according to my desires, in costumes or even make-up. I always have precise ideas about the poses but they are more blurry about the decor. Moreover, the sets are like collages, a juxtaposition of elements. Finally, I feed on the world of images without hierarchy.
M.P.: Your drawings give pride of place to the figurative in scenes of modern mythologies. What are your inspirations?
N.P.: What interests me is the concept of the collective unconscious developed by Jung that we are all connected and that man is reflected in his myths. Myths have survived through the centuries and territories. The human being is a patchwork of different cultures, multiple popular traditions and finally, drawing has the role of communicating with man. My comic scenes are quite theatrical but they evoke the cultural mix that exists in this world. I have travelled a lot, both in India and China, where people express themselves through images. My characters are in a cross-fertilization of this world, and even in a pure, naked state, that is, without filters and in the greatest purity, they are overwhelmed by these images. It’s fascinating!
M.P.: How does drawing influence your artistic practice?
N.P.: My painting speaks of man’s first instincts: survival, fear, war, love… And how human beings seek solutions to exist. For my part, I give pictorial solutions. But it requires a lot of mental preparation. Drawing, on the other hand, is a practice of instinct. It comes to life as it goes along, like a musical improvisation, linear but very colourful, one motif bringing another. Drawing has a powerful human dimension. I print there the mixing of images of the world as indelible tatoos. A mixing that can be found in the techniques used: coloured pencils, Chinese ink or watercolour.
Portrait of a draftswoman:
If you were a drawing: “The one who prays betrayed me loves me passionatelyYour
favorite technique: nervous pencil, strong Indian ink, miniature watercolor.
The most unusual medium for drawing: beach sand, any kind of
drawing is like that: Breathing
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