I caught up with Fariba Abedin about her approach to art, which she describes as “a contemporary exploration of ancient Iranian geometric art and the Islamic art, a study of art and science combined.” She also shares a bit about how she got to where she is today, alongside gems of advice.
Fariba Abedin’s large-scale, meticulous, and gloriously colorful geometric paintings give the effect of looking into a giant kaleidoscope. Her work is inspired by ancient Persian architecture, poetry, and calligraphy and explores geometric abstraction with an emphasis on color study.
— The Jung Centre, Houston
A bit about yourself:
I was born in Iran and grew up there until after high school. I married a wonderful Iranian man who has been very supportive of my art and interests up to this day, and moved to the United States before the revolution in Iran.
I received a BFA in Architecture from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and Master of Science in Education from Connecticut State University. Then, for the last thirty years I have been studying and taking painting classes and art courses at the Glassell school of Art, affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
My work has been exhibited at The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, Lawndale Art Center and the Jung Center in Houston, Plano Arts Association in Texas, and numerous local galleries, and international art fairs. My work has also been featured in numerous Houston publications, and I have been nominated as one of the Top 5 Artists in Houston by Houston Magazine, The Best of the Culture.
What inspired you to start exploring your creative talents?
I was always interested in art and have been painting for the last 35 years, going through almost every style from Realism to representational, abstract, drip painting, expressionism, and finally going back to my roots of math and architecture.
My work is inspired by ancient Persian architecture, poetry, calligraphy and explores geometric abstraction with an emphasis on color study. Although my work is geometric and structural, it is also tender and appealing in appreciation of nature, science, and history. My incorporation of Sufi poetry conveys a message of love and peace to the world.
What was the pivotal point at which you decided to pursue art as your career?
I pursued art as my career because that was what I enjoyed the most. Even the challenges are part of the excitement and learning. Art never gets dull, and the projects are never ending. There is always the opportunity to look forward to starting a new painting or project. My days and nights are filled with thinking about geometric shapes and colors. My hobby is my job.
When you’re not working on your art/studio, what do you do with your time?
I don’t have set hours for painting. I’m practically painting all day long except for meal times. Outside my painting, I voluntarily teach a few classes in religion studies and art, I also swim regularly.
What is your 5-year goal?
My goal for the next five years is to exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum, insha-Allah, and also to exhibit internationally — particularly in Dubai.
Who inspires you the most?
People who inspire me are Joseph Albers, the Father of the Color Theory, Omar Khayyam, the Persian poet, mathematician and scientist who created important works on geometry, specifically on the theory of proportions, and Rumi who has some of the most beautiful love poems with an intense love for the Divine.
What book do you most often give as a gift to others?
I mostly give the Quran as a gift. I believe this is a time that we have to keep close contact with this beautiful book. We have to understand the Quran in the proper context and implement it in our daily lives.
Any last messages to our readers?
My message is that the ultimate happiness comes from a peaceful soul!
You can connect with Fariba through her website www.FaribaAbedin.com
And catch her exhibition “This Time On Paper” showing at The Jung Centre, Houston. On view from 2-28 February, 2016 – there’s still time to check it out!
The original version of this article was written by Subhi Bora and first published on Creative Ummah.