Art And Culture

Mysticism in Oil Paintings

Mysticism in Oil PaintingsMysticism in Oil Paintings

An exhibition of paintings by a young artist, Maral Esfahani, will open at Vista Art Gallery in Tehran on July 24.

All works are from a collection which the artist has created “on the effect of mysticism on art.” The theme in her works is “self-knowledge and the limbo that awaits us after death, on the Day of Judgment,” she says.

In Islam, limbo is defined as a state between the material world and the spiritual world; and this concept has been found in Esfahani’s works as she portrays the meaning of existence in her paintings.

Interested in mysticism from her days as a university student, Esfahani says since then she has been studying religious sciences. “I have carried out extensive research on different religions,” Honaronline quoted her as saying.

As a child, she got familiar with paintings through her mother. As she grew up, questions about creation, existence and the meaning of life drew her to mysticism. In the quest for answers to the multitude of questions in her mind, it struck her that through art she can seek her real self. In a way, she found her true self, in her search for knowledge, in painting.

Prominent Persian poets Mawlana and Suhrawardi proved influential in her world of mysticism. The works in her previous exhibitions were also created under the influence of great Sufi poets.

 Figurative Works

Her figurative artworks all thematizing Iranian symbols are different from most of today’s paintings; however, they cannot be referred to as traditional. “They are modern in style as I believe Iranian art entails the most recent forms of modern art.”

Quality of the designs created in the Safavid era, at a time when classic style of the Renaissance was prevalent in the world, proves that Iranian artists were far ahead of their time and followed a more up-to-date style rather than what was customary at the time.

“Modernity is not in conflict with being Iranian, and any artist can use new styles depending on their whereabouts,” she stresses.

As a professional artist she emphasizes on “reality and truth” through her artworks. She believes artists are placed on the path of divinity and are meant to portray wisdom and the nature of human beings the way God has created them.

Through her paintings she questions the meaning of creation and liberates human beings of their extreme emotions with the use of warm colors. In her artworks she particularly focuses on the different sides to a personality which “is in constant conflict.”

Esfahani is a graduate of paintings from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran. She has held several group and solo exhibitions in Tehran and abroad.

The exhibit will showcase a total of 38 works, eight large and 30 small paintings, all in acrylic and oil.

Enthusiasts can visit the gallery at No. 11, 12th Alley, Miremad St., Motahari St. from July 24 to August 3.