I first met Elahe Farjad 6 years ago in Tehran while attending Karim Nasr’s (an accomplished contemporary Iranian artist and art professor) painting classes at his atelier. She was one of his most determined students. I could see her passion for painting as well as her eye for human behavior. When I began the 7500 Miles project, I immediately thought about Elahe and her distinctive style of self expression in her paintings. She was very excited about the project and provided us with her latest series, “Seated People”, which is being shown for the first time in the 7500 Miles online exhibition.
Elahe is a contemporary artist with contemporary concerns. “Every piece of art I create is personal to me, but in a veiled manner,” she stated during one of our conversations concerning this project. She believes being an artist is to create a new concept by adding your own insight to an everyday life event. She focuses on understated human behavior in which we all experience regardless of our nationality, culture and gender. Elahe recognizes these behaviors and feelings in herself and manifests them through her paintings by depicting them in other subjects outside of herself. “My paintings stem from my personal concerns and my private moments, but these concerns are not separate from the political and social issues affecting myself and others in my country.”
Despite having a full time day job, Elahe manages to pursue her artistic career and exhibit in art galleries inside and outside of Iran. Just like many other artists of her generation, her biggest challenge is a platform to show her work. “I find the community of gallery owners too impenetrable. You definitely need relationships and connections.” She is not optimistic about getting permission to have a public exhibit for her latest collection, “Seated People”, due to the representation of the female body. I'm thrilled that Elahe's works will get the well deserved exposure and hopefully appreciation that it ought to have through the 7500 Miles project.