October 08, 2020

On the occasion of Frieze London 2020, we decided to bring the Palais Aziza Retropective experience on VR augmenting the physical version curated with We R the Nomads off  1-54 Marrakech art Fair last February. Hope you enjoy the trip and hear us out on Friday afternoon, during which I will conduct a dematerialized live viewing. TRACES VR is officially live on Nouvelle Vague Artspces VR and
on the Janet Rady Fine Art Artsy page. Part of the proceeds will go to San Francisco based Kabira Foundation to support artists in Morocco under lockdown

Welcome To My Life Manoto TV I March 2018

Subtitled Version


Fugitive Traces by Charlene Rodrigues I Middle East Eye I London May 2019 

In his new exhibition in London, Firouz Farman Farmaian interweaves the sacred symbols of Amazigh craftsmen from North Africa with his own Persian heritage.

We are sat in @Space50, a cavernous Victorian house turned studio in Mayfair where Iranian diaspora artist Firouz Farman Farmaian’s exhibition "Permanence of Trace" is on display. Bold, geometric patterns and Berber iconography dominate his art panels lining the walls. It isn’t hard to identify Farmaian by his theatrical style. He is dressed in a graphic patterned shirt with matching harem-styled trousers and jewellery - a style of Berber heritage that anchors our conversation. "She is the spirit and the figment for the continuity of trace," he says of a central portrait of a 1900s Berber woman weaver, inspired by his visit to the Berber Museum at Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.

"Permanence of Trace" is typical of his approach, in that it interweaves the sacred symbols of Amazigh craftsmen from North Africa with his own Persian heritage. Berber tent fabrics and canvasses depict the ephemera of women weavers of North Africa alongside fibulas, rafters and crosses. Amazighs, also called Berbers, are an ancient North African ethnic group and the name literally means "the free people". Inspired by their fortitude, creativity, rituals and traditions, Farmaian is not only questioning identity and heritage, but is keen to recover their ancient past.

One particularly relevant lesson from the Berbers is the unspoken central position of women in their way of life. “The Berbers are a women-led tribe who represent the sacred, the force. They are the creators,” he says, before adding: “Art is a sacred form of ceremony that is linked to God. Since 2000 years the same expression of art passed from one woman to the other throughout the times and this has come to us in the form of tattoos and rugs.” Equally important is this association of ceremonies, rituals and imagination with earthly objects and nature, a relationship that can be read as a timely ecological message for a modern consumerist audience.

The Portrait of a Berber Woman (oil pastel, acrylic marker on archival canvas print), though inconspicuous in size, is nonetheless sharp and imposing with distinctive crosses. “The crosses render a cosmogenic sense. There is cosmogony in Berber culture that comes from ancient Egypt and Greek culture,’ he explains. The triangle embodies fortune, fertility, abundance and protection.Memories of Iran The art also reflects his own early experiences between continents as a fugitive of the Islamic Revolution. These experiences bring a personal touch to his pre-occupation with tradition, remembrance and displacement. “Understand that we have gone through a process of displacement following the revolution in 1979,” he says.

The 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution has brought back a lot of memories to Farmaian and his family outside of Iran. “During those times I su"ered greatly after the revolution with my parents in the middle of a divorce.” Farmaian is grateful to King Hassan II of Morocco who protected him and his family from experiencing the horrors of contemporary exile.

As a descendant of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925, and in exile for nearly 40 years, Farmaian doesn’t feel he is the right person to discuss the situation back in Iran. “You will have to ask people living in Iran. But if you take what’s happening there, the protests in the last few years and the dire situation the country is in because of the sanctions, people want change, but then again I don't know if it will happen,” he adds. In fact, no one understands the “nomadic displacement of sorts” and the idea of “trace” better than Farmaian.

Trace is most famously associated with Jacques Derrida, who developed the concept in the 1960s to deconstruct art to its cultural, political and institutional contexts in their variety and di"erence, a radical departure from the Modernist movement of the first half of the 20th century which emphasised innovation in art, celebration of progressive forces, and a rejection of the cultures and traditions of the past.

Deconstructing Derrida

While Derrida used “trace” as a criticism of Modernism, Farmaian has appropriated the concept to invite the viewer to explore the history and variety of Berber culture through his use of authentic mythology and symbols. His show “Decentralized” with Mana Contemporary in New York will feature three panels from “Poetry of Tribes”. Here his abstract unfinished impassioned brush strokes, vivid in colours and rhythmic function are as broad and wide as his determination to tell the story of belonging, separation and exile. As a child he studied classical architecture, Greek classical culture, impressionism and Persian poetry with his grandfather. “He would teach me to draw ionic columns in the evening, just for fun. You get the drift.”

“My father familiarised me with a culture which I didn't know but definitely had a whi" of what I had missed growing up in Iran. Suddenly in a Fellinian way Morocco became a mirror [a replacement] of a culture I had lost,” he reminisces.

From Attar of Nishapur, Rumi or Omar Khayyam to Charles Bukowski and Leo Tolstoy - his cross- cultural journey from adolescence has been punctuated by both the East and the West, Persian poets and philosophers, Russian, English and American literature. Not surprisingly, this leaves Farmaian to believe the mixture of cultures is the natural evolution of things, it is the future of the world.

Farmaian began painting at 12, tried gra#ti, then architecture, graphic arts, and experimented with di"erent forms on Super 8mm films. In between sips of water, Farmaian scribbles notes into his copybook describing life on the road as a prism. “The advantage of a prism is it hits with multidirectional light. I believe at any rate who ever is against this natural evolution of things, it will be di#cult. The tide of the world is going towards this direction. Those who believe nationalism is the answer are completely wrong in my point of view. I believe, and even if it goes through pain, similar to my family’s pain and su"ering to lose what is yours, a richness awaits you on the other side.”

Graffiti and rock music

Whilst his journey into art has been anything but linear, painting was a constant since the age of 12. Post-impressionist artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet were some of his earliest influences growing up in Paris. And this style is tangible in his series Summer at the Caspian, 2015, where Farmaian enmeshes family, pre-revolution Iran, emotions before and after exile, memories, past and the present.

“I grew up witnessing the street life of Paris doing gra#ti in my late teens. I didn't last very long as I didn't like the anarchist ‘fuck the police’ atmosphere.” Farmaian swiftly returned to architecture, then graphic arts, and started experimenting with di"erent forms on Super 8mm films. As a pluralist, Farmaian finds himself closer to conceptual art, challenging his grandfather’s notion of form follows function. “Function follows form. The experiment is on form,” he insists. After working in graphic arts and indie film, which saw little funding, he turned to music and formed an indie alt rock band “Playground” in Paris. Even today, he finds parallels of working on music and art strikingly similar. “The way you go through the processes of creativity is similar to the way you go through the processes of improvisation in music. “You work on the same beat, give it a beat and you are jamming on an idea. You go from piece to piece in your project . You evolve, evaluate, get to a peak and end it.”

For his project 2020, Farmaian is keen to go beyond paint into monumental installation form, where he can use a multitude of mediums to create a conversation between sound, sculpture, paint, photography and film.

Farmaian divides his time between Marbella in Spain, New York and London. When it comes to calling any one place home, he invokes the German concept of ‘Heimat’. “It is the idea of home, and the idea of home is like a tent you can transport from one place to another, and make home a place wherever you go.”

Artist Firouz Farmanfarmaian turns confinement into creativity with his first virtual exhibition I By Denise Murray Arab News I Jeddah May 2020

LONDON: When multidisciplinary artist Firouz Farmanfarmaian went into lockdown at his studio in Marbella, Spain, in March, he didn’t realize his time in confinement would be a period of intense creativity leading to his first ever participation in a VR exhibition. 

Prior to isolation, Farmanfarmaian spent six months in the Draa Valley in South Morocco, working closely with local Amazigh artisans and painting in the deserted streets of abandoned ‘ghost’ villages — once populated by Berbers and, further back, by Jews.

He told Arab News that the first few days in confinement after his time in the wide open spaces of the Draa Valley had been “pretty brutal.” Then, out of the blue, a phone exchange with his agent Janet Rady led to the launch of a collaborative multi-platform digital exhibition available across Artsy, the Janet Rady Fine Arts (JRFA) website, Nouvelle Vague Artspaces, Kunsmatrix VR exhibition and Instagram.

“Let's Get Lost (Let Them Send Out Alarms),” which runs until May 13, features art that Farmanfarmaian created using only materials immediately on hand in his studio. In part this was due to the logistical restrictions of the lockdown, but  it was also a result of his admiration for the concept of ‘junkspace’ defined by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas as “what remains after modernization has run its course or, more precisely, what coagulates while modernization is in progress, its fallout.” Farmanfarmaian worked with companies in the industrial area of Marbella where his studio is based, taking delivery of their unused materials and repurposing them for his art.

“I used industrial glue on wood and acrylic markers and plastic paint with a lot of texturization,” he said. “We are living through dark times so I logically went towards a darker type of palette which reflects the reality that people are dying in this plague and the mood I am in right now.” The muted colors also reflect the desert landscapes he was working in before the lockdown. Farmanfarmaian also used an oval shape as a motif in his work for the first time. A departure from the triangle and cosmic cross that feature prominently in his preceding work. “When I used the triangle and cosmic cross they would be shown with an encasing. I slowly started in this series to move forward into this new form, in which the triangle and cross have disappeared and only the encasing, which had originally been created just to give them perspective, stayed,” he explained.

There is a strong architectural feel to Farmanfarmaian’s work, a legacy of his grandfather, the pioneering architect Abdul Aziz Farmanfarmaian, whose extensive legacy includes high-profile projects in Saudi Arabia where he worked after the Iranian revolution. Although Farmanfarmaian studied architecture, he did not follow his grandfather into the profession. After three years he chose to switch to studying graphic design, but he recognizes “there is an element of architectonics in my work.” In his work, you sense Farmanfarmaian searching for his lost roots. He left Iran aged four when his family moved to Spain because of the revolution. He was largely educated in Paris, under the guidance of his grandfather. He is also powerfully influenced by the concept of ‘trace,’ as espoused by the late French philosopher Edouard Glissant.

“His idea was that the archaic cultures and memory have to be revisited and put forward again in order for to us to communicate better today,” Farmanfarmaian said This philosophy influenced his post-tribal exhibition “Memorandum of the Unknown Path,” a powerful site-specific installation in the main halls of the Théâtre Royal de Marrakech for the 1-54 Marrakech 2020 African art fair. This work is currently going through the qualification process for the Jameel Prize, echoing the footsteps of his late great aunt, the celebrated artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, who was a finalist in 2011.


For Farmanfarmaian, the coronavirus has meant isolation but also intense creativity and exploration of new ways of communicating. He believes it is the responsibility of artists to give hope in times of darkness.

“We are adaptive creatures and every situation can also be a blessing,” he said.

Zoltan Alexander ( ZOLTAN+MEDIA ) on Firouz FarmanFarmaian, 1-54 as last Virus Free Art Fair & VR I London, April 2020

The first day of my journey to Marrakesh started with an invitation of Persian multidisciplinary artist Firouz FarmanFarmaian to "Traces" curated by We R the Nomads at Palais Aziza and a post-tribal installation "Memorandum of the Unknown Path" at the legendary Royal Theatre of Marrakesh.

The preview reception of "Traces" as part of the palace's bi-annual fine art exhibition was followed by a beautifully orchestrated dinner held in a tent surrounded by palm trees and exotic flowers alongside a candle-lit swimming pool.

Firouz FarmanFarmaian is a journey himself, bejewelled and dressed impeccably. He wears traditional, colourful caftans mixed with unlabelled sportswear. His looks are just as striking as his art. His belle table had guests from the four corners of the globe; curators from Tate Modern, as well as collector Vanessa Branson, the Swedish gold-handed PR-agent of Marrakesh Patrick Benjaminsson, London gallery owner Janet Rady, writer Marc Hostier and Camilla FarmanFarmaian, the wife of the artist.


Later, Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi accompanied by Ladan Mina came to admire his exhibition at the Royal Theatre of Marrakesh.

The following day, "Memorandum of the Unknown Path" was opened at Charles Boccara's Royal Theatre. The theatre is an architectural gem, it is something to be admired even from the outside with its Roman-inspired details. It is a part unfinished opera house, part outdoor theatre, the Theatre Royal is now merely used for cultural events.


Firouz FarmanFarmian was born in Iran and currently lives and works in Marbella. Descendent of the Quajar dynasty which ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925, Firouz FarmanFarmian relocated following the Islamic Revolution to Paris and Spain, where he grew up and turned his political exile into art. He very much awed by the careers of both his grandfather, architect Abdol-Aziz FarmanFarmaian and his grand-aunt, contemporary artist Monir Shahroudy FarmanFarmaian.

New York, Paris, London, Washington, San Francisco, Dubai and Tehran are just a few places where his work has been exhibited and many of his exquisite art pieces are now in private collections of royalty and celebrities all over the world.

Nominated for the Jameel Prize 2021, "Memorandum of the Unknown Path" is a site-specific installation in the middle of the Royal Theatre's main hall with a giant metal ring and large-scale tent elements, knotted, hand-painted fabric panels held together by Touareg raw camel wool including "Banners of the Unbanished", a series of textiles involving Moroccan and Persian tribal cultures with Sufi-inspired textures and post-tribal and military symbols sourced in the Atlas mountains at Draa Valley and the Sahara.

The installation was exploring cross-cultural themes and the question of identity in the face of a change, and also included a 10-minute video "Talkhimt-Tadounit​" documenting the artist's path to sourcing the material for the installation, alongside sonic signatures inspired by contemporary Sub-Saharan sonorities recorded and composed by FORRM. History and memory are the core themes in the art of FarmanFarmaian, whose lifetime of living in exile in Paris and Marbella has profoundly influenced both his creative practice and individual character.

"Identity is a central segment to the growth of one's art. This body of work stems from an urge to create a Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk, a total body of art. It is a circumstance that ultimately shapes lives," declares the artist whose work actively engages in a dialogue with the past and possesses vivacious energy as well as a deeply symbolic quality, which speaks to a multiplicity of current politics, art and philosophy.


"Memorandum of the Unknown Path" reflects on a vision of the path ahead, probably the last virus-free art exhibition for a long time

Firouz FarmanFarmaian's latest project is an online VR-gallery of selected contemporary artworks. The virtual exhibition started only a few days ago with his solo show "Lets Get Lost / Let Them Send Out Alarms” and continued with a group show, “Vaccine For World War III” a fine collaboration with his contemporary fellow artists.

“ll faut être absolument moderne / you have to be absolutely modern" Arthur Rimbaud said it famously.

"VR is the new frontier of art, from creation to exhibition, curated in borderless fashion. “Lets Get Lost / Let Them Send Out Alarms” is my first VR solo show followed by “Vaccine For World War III” a group show which I co-curated for an online presentation imposed by the current lockdown.” Firouz FarmanFarmaian

La Calle TV NYC I Interview by Jorge Viera I Oct 2018

Interview at NYC Poetry of the Tribe Exhibit at Salomon Arts Gallery, Tribeca

MAN OF THE WORLD I UD Magazine Profile by Cheryl Gatward I Jan 2020

A descendant of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925, artist Firouz FarmanFarmaian has turned his life-long exile into a canvas. UD Magazine Talks to Firouz FarmanFarmaian about the caravan of life, the unknown path and connecting to our roots.

It seems the past inevitably influences us even if we don’t realize it all the time. When did you start realizing that the separation from your country is a theme you had to explore?

When you come to think of it, the sheer complexity of interwoven circumstances that need to shape up to create a full scale revolution are simply staggering. And that's just what happened in 1979 Iran. At the scale of my tribe, to loose the physical link to our ancestral land has been brutal. Not unlike being thrown out on angry seas and landing on foreign shores. It took time for me to find a path forward. Had many questions to answer.


At the beginning of your creative path you dropped out of architecture studies and went on the road earning money solely with your art. What gave you the courage to do that ?


My paternal grandfather Persian architect Abdol-Aziz Farman-Farmaian, was founder and head of AFFA, largest contemporary architecture agency of the middle-east up to 1979. Pressure to pick-up the mantle was at stake following the Islamic revolution. My brother Teymour and I were taken under his wing in Paris to be tutored and prepped to that effect. We both signed into architecture. He became the Architect. At first I felt at ease in the companionship of the ateliers, the diversity of the courses, the freedom to manage projects and assume control of concepts. But soon hit creative limitations as I felt increasingly curious to open new areas of investigation. I took the decision to sign up for the NYU film program, but it did not play out with family plans. So I to hit the road as director-producer-writer of super 8mm avant-garde black & white shorts... It was super tough, but I moved on from that point up. As the creative process unrolls I feel confident, content. As long as the caravan weaves its way towards the next exploration...

Tribalism is a term often used in a derogatory way when it comes to social behavior, and yet ‘tribal’ is n adjective enthusiastically embraced by the worlds of art and design. Why ?


This precise dichotomy was the underlying thematic of my last New-York exhibition, Poetry of the Tribe showing at Rodrigo Salomon’s Tribeca Artspace in the fall of 2018. It felt timely and appropriate given the political climate in the United States and the rising voice of native poets ringing throughout America.

Population on earth is rising, communications have been fluidified, the idea of nation is under threat as we move towards a global consciousness merging the material and the immaterial. The epidermic rejection of this relentless wave is a return to nationalisms and protectionist politics tagged by mainstream press as a return to tribalism. It is as simplistic as it is false. On the contrary tribes have arisen from the heat of this new wave, reconnecting to values such as the sacred, the respect of the memory, the safeguard of the planet through the story of our link to it. The art-world is for many a refuge where non-formatted and spiritual thought is seen as evolved and forward.

Each country or region is represented in your work by a certain palette. Morocco is Henna brown and Majorelle Blue. What would Andalucia be ?

Andalucia’s flag is Olive Green + White. I would add Cobalt Blue.

After having spent some time in Finland ( where your wife comes from ) what can you say about the Nordic cultures and way of self expression ?

What strikes you first is the tight connection to nature. I tuned in very fast in Finland. Walking barefoot in blueberry fields listening to the forest. I introduced handpicked blueberry Into the resulting Naturescape ( Blueberry Panels ) series that showed and sold-out in Washington DC last fall ( Syra Arts ). There is a dialog between man and the natural world that has been set aside, and it is very alive in the North. On another plane, I have an expatriate Swedish-Finn mother. My grandfather was an attaché to the Swedish embassy and lived his life in the east. He once compared his family life to one of traveling caravan. Mother was born in Calcutta, brought up in Beirut and married in Tehran where I was born. On the other side my Finnish great grandfather was a Kalevala painter ( Nordic Mythologies ). I Grew up impacted by his art-deco representation of vikings fighting a mythical sea-dragon on stormy seas. My Finnish grandmother called it Sisu. I relate to that. It is a very positive mind frame. As my mother puts it : be open, be positive, fight on.

In a world where a growing number of us are proclaimed nomads, how do we embrace the mixture of cultures without losing touch with our roots?


You truly connect to your own roots if you open your heart to the roots of others. In a larger sense to cultural legacies, to the construction of identities. It is a mirroring game. You will always find universality if you look deep enough. What makes early 21st century essentially nomadic is the dizzying freedom of immediate transportation, physical or digital. We must not forget it and use that freedom constructively and not get totally frozen by some consumer-based marketing glaze.

Being a Nomad you often describe the process of creating a home as ‘setting up a tent’. What are your absolute essentials in a tent?

To paraphrase my statement out of the Poetry of the Tribe exhibit catalog, I present my identity as an internal process tied to notions of exile and displacement calling to the German notion of Heimat. Physically displaced but steadily rooted within a metaphorical home form. Thus - metaphorically- as I move from location to location I set up tent.

What characteristics would your ideal home have in terms of architecture and interior design ?

In the realm of the three years I spent in architecture I was captivated by Lecorbusier’s Villa Savoye on year one. The purity of lines and the outside-inside evanescence, that I also later found in Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. In terms of architecture, a central characteristic would be a true connection marrying abstract form to surrounding nature. I have been reading Dutch architect-urbanist Rem Koolhaas. A complete body of work shown in London In 2013 ( Mews 42 Gallery ) stemmed from the reading of his Junkspace essay. A second characteristic would involve the intrinsic responsibility to recycle what we leave behind as our modern lifestyle ploughs ahead. Should be engraved as a new social contract. Inside I love my mess ( which drives my wife crazy ). I staple, tape, stack and sketch on any open space. I collect furniture I inherit. Design-wise I relate to Philippe Starck, but my heart is set in Knoll-style seventies vintage. Camilla and I spent our Sundays hunting the Paris fleas market. You can now see us roam Torremolinos dark alleyways or the Fuengirola Rastro :)

How do you know a work of art is finished ?


I make a difference between the work and the project, they enter different timescapes. A work is a completed approach to a study, a question, the possible exploration of an error turned into form. The project can enclose the vision of a series, but also spans further. It understands the research, written often, of an intellectualized projection. Under that roof content forms to finally come together as a body of work. But the philosophical current - the energy - has no end.

We all swim in chaos



What is your greatest weakness ?

As a natural born hyper-active I am an impatient and irritable person expecting the very best from everything and everyone all the time. I sail through life exploring ways to liberate an irrepressible inner urge to create. Can be explosive. It is interesting to observe my years as lead singer writer-composer of Paris art rock band Playground in the 2000’s. The experience clearly helped me canalise the overdrive. Some of that is on my website :)


You re currently based in Marbella and Marrakech. What is it about the two places that made you settle ?

My parents divorced mid-eighties. They separated in Marbella. My mother stayed on. My father relocated in Marrakech early nineties. I grew up transiting between Marbella, Marrakech and Paris. Camilla and I adore living by the Gibraltar strait, we find it powerfully romantic to have the option to cross-over into continents at will. As a result our artspace, Nouvelle Vague Artspaces ( NVA ), is based in Spain and our agency, We R the Nomads is based in Morocco. The agency works on cross-cultural projects such as the production of

Memorandum go the Unknown Path installation and its prototype book at the Théâtre Royal de Marrakech that is to open for the 1-54 Marrakech 2020 public programme on February 21st 2020.

Memorandum of the Unknown Path at the Royal Theatre of Marrakech - What is the main idea behind it ?

Memorandum of the Unknown Path triggers the necessary question of a return to the source. If ecology of the planet is the restoration of a natural world order, then ecology of the spirit is a restoration of a link to our millenary archaic selves. It stems from an urge to create a Wagnerian ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, a total work of art. To illuminate unseen stories, traces, through a Tolstoyan sense of time, weaving its wheels. Unwinding into unknown paths, tribal entanglement knotting Moroccan and Persian millenary cultures in a sufi-like dance of sacred fabrics and post-tribal symbols sourced in-between the Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert. To use air and space, shadow and light, sound and movement to free an ensemble of imaginary banners under the iconic dome of the Royal Theatre of Marrakech. A site specific intervention mirroring Berber and Persian Bakhtiari cosmogonies held together by the baraka of raw camel wool, nomad tent elements turned into work of art. A circle of contemplation and meditation, a haven where different cultures can meet and reflect.

As in recent explorations into post-tribalism such as in Poetry of the Tribe ( Salomon Arts & Leonard Tourné Gallery - Tribeca, NYC / Oct-Nov 2018 ) and into the idea of Trace with Permanence of Trace ( We R the Nomads & Space 50 - Chelsea, London / March - May 2019 ), Memorandum of the Unknown Path works to build on a universal nomadic quality. Not unlike works of Corean artist Kimsooja or Colombian artist Oscar Murillo it attends to cross cultural thematics such as identity, memory and exile. The exhibition presents itself as a synthesis with a look set upon the uncertain path forward. The balance between archaic spirit and tech-age philosophies. The juncture of cultures crossing and creating new tribes. The unicity of our planet. Contemporary revolutions.

Access to process will be provided via prototype journal-book Cahier#1 published in a first limited signed edition displaying a selection of preparatory studies, photographies, drawings and writings. We R the Nomads agency produces the event with the backing of Shirley Elghanian’s London based Magic of Persia Foundation that has been a companion throughout the years and the Flora Family Foundation of NYC via the patronage of my dear cousin Dr. Amir FarmanFarma.


Eternally thankful.

Kayhan London Video Interview with Nazenin Ansari  I May 2019


In his latest series “Permanence of Trace,” the Iranian-born artist Firouz Farmanfarmaian dives deep into his memories to search for his identity.

ASSIA News Tehran I Feb 11th 2020.

Translated from Farsi. 

Revolution is an original title?


Yes it is. It is one scene, one single scene amongst the many scenes of the 1979 revolution. You were not in Iran at that time.


What inspired you for these scenes?


I have been living for many, many years abroad. A vast segment of my work derives from reminiscences, memories. Perhaps subconsciously I needed to forge in my mind what I was, what we were, who we are.

Is the painting linked to your family ?


I had always wanted to paint the revolution. The story of this painting starts with a picture, a photo in a case that I inherited from my grandfather. A page from a Tehran weekly magazine published in 1979 one week before the departure of the Shah from Iran. It was a magazine report about the revolution events including a photo, a single photo with the name of the photographer at the bottom, Abbas Attar. A photo scene ? Armed Soldiers in front of protestors and people lying face down on the ground : it was an incredible scene. I called model-writer friend Niloufar Abri in Paris who had been close to Abbas Attar. She gave me his phone, I called him and we arranged for a meeting in Paris.

This meeting must have had a great effect on your painting of the revolution?


Even though I had completed most of the painting before the meeting, some of the details Abbas Attar gave me inspired final touches. At the end of the meeting he asked me to send him a copy of my painting.

Did you send him ?

I gave him a signed copy of the incomplete one, which I had on me during the meeting.

And the completed copy ?


That was my last talk with Abbas Attar. Unfortunately, he passed away a few days after that meeting. I used his image as a base for my 444cm painting and you can notice it if you look well. I pay homage and salute Abbas Attar with respect, a great artist.

FDM Magazine, December 2019

L'identité, la mémoire et l'exil au coeur de l'expo de l'artiste Firouz FarmanFarmaian. L'exposition Memorandum of the Unknown Path ( Théâtre de Marrakech, Février 2020 ) sera l'occasion de découvrir des sculptures, des peintures, des dessins abordant des thématiques transculturelles.

AD MIDDLE EAST- 02 / 2020

Iranian artist Firouz FarmanFarmaian to create textile installation for Marrakech art fair. The "post-tribal" exhibition is titled 'Memorandum of the Unknown Path'


Everything in Salucci House seemed light enough to levitate and the pieces by Firouz, stood out. Persian-born artist Firouz Farman Farmaian, whose lifetime of living in exile in Paris, France 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 a dialogue with the past. 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 politics, art and philosophy, images to communicate a spirituality.

Diario de Mallorca I Profile by Esteban Mercer - May 2015

Conversation with Spanish journalist Esteban Mercer following the opening of the Momentary Meditations solo exhibition in Mallorca's Galeria Maior. May 2016.

Huffington Post Review I March 2017

14 Iranian Artists Explore Just How Complex Immigration And Identity Can Be

In a tumultuous time for American foreign policy, these artists offer nuanced views of what it means to be Iranian.

Fortunes of Fate : Lisa Pollman's Artist Profile for ArtRadar Dec 2016

The fortunes of fate : an exclusive artist profile on firouzfarmanfarmaian out now on Art Radar. 'FarmanFarmaian’s joint exhibition in New York City seeks to untangle his identity through dialogue with archival footage. [His] work uncovers a lifetime in exile and the 'circumstances' around the forces that shape individuals.'

Kayhan London I Profile by Farah Naheri - Oct 2016

A talk about Personal Mythologies and Multimedia Makeovers with Farah Nayeri for the Kayhan London days before Farman-Farmaian's NY fall opening at Shirin Gallery

French Touch Magazine I Profile by Gregory De Drancourt I Paris - 2014

Conversation with Philantropist-Journalist Gregory De Drancourt for French Touch Magazine at the occasion of the Waves solo exhibition at Golan Rouzkhosh Gallery, Paris. May 2014.

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