We're always excited when new artist submissions pop up in our inbox, but our latest submission with Iranian artist Amin Akbari happens to be particularly special. Read on and you'll see why!
Let's start with the basics, what's your name and how old are you?
I was born on 1989 in Bojnourd which is located in the North-East of Iran. I grew up there and spent my childhood and teenage years there until two years ago when I moved to Tehran (the capital city of Iran) where I'm now currently living and working.
When did you first get into illustration?
The first artworks I saw in my childhood were some pictures in my dad’s stuff. Those were some drawings of Käthe Schmidt Kollwitz and some paintings from Russian painters. I remember that I was cutting pictures and paintings from magazines and newspapers and I was making many scrapbooks for myself which I still keep.
The first things which I remember from my own works were drawings from flowers, humans & cats which I was drawing on the pages of my books and notebooks.
Living in Iran, are there any particular challenges you face as an artist?
Life within the past few years has become really tough in Iran. Virtually, everything is fraught with ambiguity, esoteric and things are really quite unpredictable. Political disposition has permeated and tainted other areas of our society, whereby, the realm of art has been negatively affected in a big way.
Truly, I am not determined about it but nonetheless I have a great eager to merge disparate and different components. In addition I personally believe that everything can be a small part of everything else or at least conjugate with and transfer to something quite fresh and abstract, lets say a banana can be a part of me and converted to me if I only have it . My mind is routinely and curiously looking forward to figuring out such bizarre relationships.
What are some of your major influences?
I'm interested in art works from so many different artists! To be more precise, in Iran I am interested more in the works of Farshid Mesghali, Hooman Mortazavi, and also Abbas Kiarostami. Although I've learnt a lot from their thoughts towards life and work, still I am doing my own things.
Any exciting projects you're currently working on?Recently I've begun a new project where I myself am the subject. I've done works like this before earlier but once again it's become more fresh for me now so I'm more determined to work another consecutive year on these types of projects in order to know more and more about myself.
If you could change one misconception about Iran, what would it be?
I'm not sure about what your perceptions of Iran are so I cannot try to modify it. But honestly in my mind within a few previous decades Iran became a victim of non-deontological political conducts which were enforced by inside and outside of its borders forces. Not only Iran but if we look wider, the world.
Iranians are really tender and kindhearted and as far as the history can recall they are well-known for their great hospitality and love peace and like to live and work in peace and quiet.
Once again I strongly deem in which this is not only the thing that Iranian long for, apart from any sort of race, religious and nationality, it is the desire of all nations.
The last great book I read was... these days I'm reading “Snow in the Summer” written by Sayadaw U Jotika.
Right now I'm listening to... recently I found a new Iranian singer and composer, Shahrzad Beheshtian, who has a really astonishing voice.
The last movie I saw was... "ICHI” is the last movie I watched, and that one was directed by Fumihiko Sori.