Toronto, ON, Canada
About Anahita Azrahimi
I create abstract collage paintings; meaning that my work is as much a painting as it is a collage piece. I hide and blend the collage cut-outs so at first glance you only see an abstract image. Once you get up close and personal, you discover the collage parts. Sometimes you may see familiar objects or get into guessing the origins of shapes and forms. If I keep you curious with each piece, I am content. I try to describe the process of my work as best as I can for you. I experience entirely different dynamics and feelings in the process of painting and collage work. Painting for me is a pure emotional expression. It is free, spontaneous, daring and exploratory whereas collaging is calculated/playful, labor intensive/ impulsive and contemplative/humourous. I am drawn to these contrasting emotions and constant searching, cutting, sorting, layering, stacking that is inherent in collage work. The cut-outs I use for the collage element are entirely from Vogue Magazine. I use this magazine exclusively for its high quality editorials, shapes, fabric textures and patterns it renders. The distorted cut-outs of clothes worn on bodies in seductive poses lend a kinetic, organic and creatury energy to the finished work. Vogue is also the most well-known, mainstream and "accessible" fashion magazine around, however it depicts a lifestyle, a fashion that despite its state-of-the-art craftsmanship, is out of reach and inaccessible (for me). I have a gleeful sense of ownership when manipulating these images into something new of my own imagination. Now I can tell you a bit about the influences behind what you see. I am an avid diver and the fascination with the reef landscape, the dancing soft corals, abundant feast of colors and the surrealness of it all creeps into my work. I have also spent years looking through microscopes at various biological forms - a scientific process that is highly visual. The organic patterns, shapes, forms and insanely vivid colors that I have recorded subconsciously in my visual archive pop in here and there, once in a while. There are various themes which I explore in my work. By juxtaposing cut-out shapes, patterns and textured paint, I try to balance the dynamics of the different mediums of painting and collage and blur the lines into a seamless abstract image or a surreal, imaginary landscape. I am also drawn to the endless possibilities of cutting, pasting, mixing, re-using, re-shaping and mashing up the familiar images into new formations. It is like creating a puzzle from scratch and solving it. Most importantly, I feel alive and the most free in this open-ended , limitless world of mashup.
- Specialist BA Arts Management - Major: Studio & Visual Arts | University of Toronto Scarborough - Bachelor of Science in Biology | Shahid Beheshti University (Iran) - 1998