Virtual artist talk with Farzaneh Azizpour
By Astrid Cunanan, Contributor
For the past year, most of my time has been spent indoors due to COVID-19. As a result of this, I filled the extra hours in my days with hobbies I used to push aside to focus on university. I rediscovered my love for art in different mediums, whether it’s through digital drawings, water colouring or creating collages.
In addition to creating art, I’ve grown an insatiable appetite for consuming artworks of all kinds. As much as I would enjoy walking through an art gallery with a curated Spotify playlist specifically made for that moment — that has to wait until phase three of Alberta’s reopening plan. Fortunately, Stride Gallery has continued to update its space with new virtual exhibits to present on their social media channels.
As a part of moving things online, Stride Gallery continues to execute artist talks over Zoom, free for any individual to join. An artist talk gives the artist a chance to talk about themselves and inform their viewers about the inspiration, story and meaning behind their work.
On March 26, 2021, Stride Gallery held an artist talk for Farzaneh Azizpour, who specializes in figurative expressive oil paintings. She was born in Iran and recently immigrated to Canada in July 2020 to further her artistic endeavours. For this artist talk, Azizpour focused on her series titled Gap Generation which is composed of seven different oil paintings.
Stride Gallery’s curatorial resident Eva Birhanu statedthis artist talk “is in conjunction with our current group exhibition Shroud, Crown, Grey Area and Generations.”
As further explained by art director Areum Kim, this group exhibition was assembled in collaboration with the Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI).
“ICAI works to connect immigrant and newcomer artists to resources, opportunities and people based in Calgary,” said Kim.
“The art world has so many invisible barriers and walls of relations that seem impeachable, so we are honoured to share a space with ICAI.”
Azizpour recalls creating handcrafts at the age of 10, but her 20s was the turning point in her life. It was during this time she was studying for her radiology degree at Iran Medical Science University when she spotted a magazine in the library with Claude Monet’s painting, Water Lilies.
“After that point, I could never forget painting, it sparked something in my life,” Azizpour said.
Having been in the medical field prior to her newfound journey of becoming an artist, Azizpour’s interest in psychology found a way into her paintings. She stated that each individual is incredibly unique and that wasvital to her work.
One of my favourites and the first painting she explained was her perspective of her two kids sitting on the couch. The boy was wearing a white mask while the girl was wearing a black mask. The inspiration behind this painting stemmed from Azizpour’s realization of the gap of understanding between her kids and herself.
“It made me worried and upset because each parent wants the best for their kids,” said Azizpour. “At that time, I thought they were really strange, I could not recognize them — like they were wearing masks.”
She noted that her works may include her children but that was not done purposely, she only uses them as a source of inspiration for these paintings. This is demonstrated through her lack of use of a realistic style, “I create something and finish at the moment I like my creation, just that — I don’t want to paint someone exactly how they are as a person.”
In addition to Azizpour’s love for painting, her ultimate goal is to become a fashion designer. During her spare time from the COVID-19 lockdown, she created a collection and has even worked on a project “about fashion design and the relationship between femininity and historical monuments in Iran.”
Azizpour’s artist talk wrapped up the group exhibition of Shroud, Crown, Grey Area and Generations and will be up for another month. While we wait for phase three of reopening, the exhibition can be viewed on Stride Gallery’s website.