"In Fact, no one understands the 'Nomadic Displacement of Sorts' and the idea of 'Trace' better than Farmaian" Charlene Rodrigues - Middle East Eye
" FarmanFarmaian's multimedia works revolve around the ideas of movement and memory as they apply to the life and consciousness of a self-identified nomad. " The Huffington Post
History, memory and the post-tribal inform the work of Persian-born artist Firouz Farman Farmaian, whose lifetime of living in exile in Paris, in Andalusia and in North Africa profoundly influenced both his creative practice and individual character. "It is circumstance that ultimately shapes lives," says the artist, whose work seeks to actively engage in bridging dialogues between past. and future, east and west, archaic craft and innovative technology. As such, his compositions possess a vivacious and spontaneous energy, as well as a deeply symbolic quality, which speaks to a multiplicity of currents in planet preservation politics, art and philosophy.
Originally rooted in Persian lore and focused on themes of nature, architectonics and interplay between realism and abstraction, Farman Farmaian's ever evolving body of work presents deep underlying exploratiive segments united by common motifs of movement and texture. The raw and visceral emotion of his pieces is tempered by material properties often produced and sourced within the framework of tribal collaborative craftsmanship. Each work is the result of careful contemplation of the techniques and tools that will achieve a singular aesthetic and emotional intention. These in turn are deftly combined to create a unique visual rhythm across a wide range of media, including Painting. TEXTILE, INSTALLATION, film, music and THE DIGITAL.
Lives and works in Athens
Child of 79’
Tehran was left in the wildfires of the 79´ Islamic Revolution, I was 4. It smashed our clan into flying fragments, dispersing us around most of the western hemisphere. It molded a nomadically displaced mindset fired by a Fellinian fantasized projection of the past. Tales of rearranged disorders.
I inherited Paris, where I was tutored by my Grandfather Prince Abdol Aziz FarmanFarmaian, Grand Architect of the former Shah. Boarding School, but also the Greek Classical order, Musée Marmottan and Monet’s Nymphéas, Le Musée d’Art Moderne and Matisses’s Dancers. Music Film and literature also, through my father Tino - an anti conformist intellectual advocate of the Spiritual - eventually relocated in Marrakech, he guided my mind into the haze of 20th century genius : Somerset Maugham, Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Bukowski, Fellini, Antonioni, Dylan, Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen opening the path to the written word, to song and Cinema. Age 14 I acquired my first Spanish guitar as I completed my first post impressionistic oil series, horses and dynamic polo scenes. One of those works went to sale as my first registered auction at Drouot a few years later.
The Making of Style
Paris. We thrashed into the night escaping boarding school under the thunder of our conquering Santa Cruz skateboards. The Clash, Beastie Boys - smoking Lucky Strikes as we skated emptied concrete basins, under the Eiffel tower. I embraced the graffiti movement joining the Artistes Associés Collective, digging the Adrenaline Gush that explodes into neonesque spray paint as you raid metro wagons and empty lots until dawn.
The immediacy of Street teaches instinctive mastering of fear in movement, purity of line - I often think of how singular it is that Jean Michel Basquiat was the only one to catch it- and to kill it. Alone in a conceptual desert. Helps being a musician. Style needs to be heavily reinstated, style is a way of doing - a way of being made Says Henri Chinaski as he downs his last Bourbon before fucking a stranger. The post post conceptual is a waste basket.
I obviously did not complete Architecture school, and after a short rebound in art school I immediately forked into multivalent avant garde explores involving Silent and Godard inspired Super 8mm film, drawing from deconstructed narrative structures as we Hunted down early Cassavettes films in the Shadows of Rue Saint André des Arts. Completed ‘Squash Metro’ a Secondary urban sequenced figurative acrylic series.
Made my way through a couple of black & white 8mm shorts backed by patrons to finally muster enough funds to direct an experimental road movie dressed up in ethno-documentary format investigating the origins of Gnawa Trance in Morocco , shot on the occasion of the first Essaouira Gnawa Festival in 1999. The ‘Gnawa Trail ‘ connected dynamic filmic form to the fluidity of improvised live music - tangling with thematics confronting archaic form to contemporary culture, concepts that later became core in the underlying approach of my Postribal multiformat installs. The ‘Gnawa Trail’ ultimately went to screen at the Musee des Arts Décoratifs in 2000.
On the Playground
At night it was wine and Jam sessions at Johnny Boy’s Rue de Cauchy mansion. Songs solidified on the open Playground as I met Serbian Composer-Guitarist Dino Trifunovic, so we kept the name and formed a band. As it happened - a post punk rock fever spilled into Paris from NYC’s lower east side and set us on course to sign a record deal on a hot indie label.
The Playground years were a Rollercoaster. We were dysfunctional on a personal level - never close, extracted from conflicting social backgrounds making our relationship very competitive - but we were both exiles from different wars and revolutions. That silent bond infused an abrasive creative energy that transformed into years of solid music. As we cut albums and took the stage I embraced the primal performative celebration - the common trance - the beauty of the instantaneous, of the volatile, of the eternally unfinished, a sort of umbilical cord back to Mother Nature.
I have always projected music into space, seen it as flowing rhythmic volumes linked to colors and moving patterns and consequently never felt the necessity to read it - in other words objectify it into partition. Music is sculpture in time Ryuichi Sakamoto. These abstract visions of flowing meditative energies filled my imagination and gradually took the form of large canvas mixed media explorations. Studies of Cy Twombly, Gehrard Richter, Sigmund Polke.
In 2010 I left the Music Scene to enter the Art World, where it felt welcome to experiment. I will never truly accept the tyranny of formats imposed by the forces of the market to art forms such as film , music - or the arts . It gradually juices the life away from the process of creation, mashing it into methodological deconstructive marketing solutions. The connection gets lost in the process.