Fariborz Faridafshin: Faded Watercolours Speak of Transience and Conformity

Renegades in their time, Impressionists sought to break free from the hegemony of lines and curves, which were dominant during the 1860s. While it was rather difficult to fight the existing conventions of the time, they managed to look beyond the lines that demarcated time and space. These lines forced the paintings with a sort of ‘stuckness’ while impressionists used free brush strokes sans importance for lines to create a sense of immediacy and movement. The brush strokes seemed to convey a sense of transience and impermanence of time and one’s own moments.

Instead of being stuck in the moment, painting received movement and realism which was complemented by the imperfection of short and broken brush strokes. The unmixed and unblended colours forced a sense of reality upon the viewer that was otherwise not possible with ornate paintings which created a sense of grandeur. Though the movement lost its flavour later, the ideas of not being bound by lines and curves, and not accepting the hegemony of colours has continued with many contemporary artists.

Fariborz Faridafshin is a Persian painter who seems to imbibe some of these ideas in his work. The 26 year old artist holds a Bachelors degree in painting from the University of Tehran. After having completed courses in professional printmaking, painting, illustration, and Batik printmaking, he has also participated in solo exhibitions. He serves as the Artistic Director at Naghsh Narin Graphic Design Co., Iran. He has translated several art related books and has given lectures and taught students at schools.

He serves as the Editor and Writer at the Academy of the Arts, Iran. Fariborz paintings reveal a realism that is blended and forced into the burden of society. Though to a western eye the Persian society seems mysterious and exotic, there isn’t much difference in terms of loneliness, the quietness of the moment and the state of being alone, each moment and not realizing it. Fariborz uses realistic watercolour that does not conform to the trends in other geometry or in thought.

His paintings reveal the stories of unknown people living their lives in that particular moment. However, the blurring of the paint suggests the impermanence of that moment and the transience of life. Each person in these paintings is alone and lonely at the same time. They live their lives in that moment, on that day, on that canvas, with a story to tell but none to share with. Interestingly, his subjects are caught in daily activities that seem mundane and banal, but then that is what life is; mundane and banal.

Perhaps the colours on the canvas add brightness to this otherwise bleak and lonely existence. The characters are painted in watercolour which is faded and blurred, the same way people fade easily in to the society, willingly and unwillingly, just as they do on the canvas. The different brush strokes are a mixture is different ideas and opinions, which get lost in a cumbersome society that absorbs everyone like the black hole.

Eastern societies encourage conformity, where individuality has no place. Individual streaks in a person are discouraged as that would endanger the very of a society. While such conformity is encouraged, people like in Fariborz’s paintings, fade into the ever enveloping and absorbing society. Society however does not promise a cure to the eternal loneliness that mankind is cursed with. It only acts as an agent to help an individual shrug off their individuality and become one with the urban chaos. Losing oneself in a chaotic urban society is not unique to East, but elsewhere too. Fariborz Faridafshin seeks to highlight the loneliness of these souls that fade into the society easily through abstract and impressionist paintings.

Courtesy Fariborz Faridafshin

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