Art And Culture

Canadian Premier for Veteran Painters

Canadian Premier  for Veteran Painters
Canadian Premier  for Veteran Painters

An exhibition of paintings by Iranian artists Ahoo Kheradmand and Mohsen Derakhshan was held last week at Arta Gallery in Toronto.

This was the first time artworks from the two painters went on display in Canada. In spite of the differences in their style, they created a balance in form and content together, Khabaronline reported.

Ahoo Kheradmand, 65, is an acclaimed actress, who has won many awards at various festivals over the years. She started working in theatre and cinema at the age of 17 and since then has continued the pursuit of the arts as a profession.

It is said, the soul of an artist can be translated into different mediums. Learning the craft of painting by herself, her career as a painter started in 2010. Her first exhibition was at Shirin Gallery in Tehran.

Her success as a painter continued as she gained national and international attention by presenting her work in Florence in 2014, followed by another successful showing in Tehran, Aria Gallery in April 2015.

Kheradmand says painting runs in her family. “My uncle was a painter and my brother paints too, and neither of us had formal education in the field.” However, on the shift from acting to painting, she said: “After my older sister - Nikoo, a veteran actress - passed away seven years ago, severe depression forced me to undergo psychotherapy via painting. Painting was initially a sedative but later it turned into a profession.”


The paintings showcased at the Canadian exhibit were titled ‘immortality’ and ‘eternity’. Emphasizing on the strong influence of her previous profession on her artistic style, she said, “People in my paintings are on the go with their back to us, which can suggest life coming to an end.” The paintings, however, show the commotion and tranquility of life at the same time.

She paints intuitively. “I do not plan what to paint, it is just a feeling that tells me to pick up the brush and start,” Kheradmand said. Like poets who can’t be forced to write a poem but need to be inspired.

Painting helped her overcome depression. “I began with black and white paintings but when colors found their way into my canvas, they gave me a good feeling and I realized I was on the way to recovery.”

 Art Journey

Mohsen Derakhshan, 60, traveled the world in pursuit of learning his craft. Iran, Spain, the US, Italy and Canada are all milestones and part of Derakhshan’s art journey to become the artist that he is today.

With more than 60 successful showings in many galleries across the globe, Derakhshan is now a professor teaching drawing and painting at Sheikh Bahayi University of Isfahan.

Unlike Kheradmand’s paintings which depicted crowded places full of people, Derakhshan’s works has a nostalgic, soothing effect, almost like meditation. “Since my shoulder was injured during the 1980-89 Iran-Iraq war, I cannot work on a painting for long. But a sense of calm and nostalgia is seen in my water color works though done hastily.”

Established in 2003, Arta Gallery is nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. This important cultural and artistic center has an outstanding vision to promote art in daily lives and make many talented artists accessible to the community. The gallery offers an impressive collection of contemporary work by both Canadian and international artists.