Nazanin Pouyandeh

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Upon discovering Nazanin Pouyandeh’s paintings, we are confronted with an enigmatic form of narrative figuration that constantly raises questions. The viewer is instantly immersed inside the image – the imagery even (a smooth rendering and a myriad details) – with a clear sense of dramatisation, and yet the mystery and a continuing doubt remain. […] The singularity of her paintings emerges from this very sense of the elusive; in the manner of our dreams that bring the opposites together, this enigmatic approach produces open-ended scenes giving free rein to our imagination and our own phantasmagorical projections. Pouyandeh’s “petrified temporalities” or “freeze-frame” paintings allow the viewers to initiate an investigation, immersing themselves in an extremely diverse pictorial repository (ancient painting, primary arts, but also comics, photography, film, television, video games, and the Internet) that gives her painting their extremely vivid dimension.

This genre-bending approach that comes forward in the screen-surface of the canvas is also present in the in-between space that constantly nourishes Pouyandeh’s mixed artistic production combining Eastern and Western influences. However, far from being a mere juxtaposition of cultures, her nomadic paintings offer a new, eccentric and humanist imagery that is far beyond a mere synthesis of the diverse elements brought together. The young artist leads us elsewhere, toward a highly singular, manifold universe, informed by heterogeneous images, dreams, as well as by the power of the collective unconscious studied by Jung, who rightfully identified archaic and universal images within religious beliefs, myths and tales.

All in all, Nazanin Pouyandeh’s cultural hybridisation – a phrase that could serve as a possible definition for the syncretism orchestrated by this “painter-film director” creating a coherent universe from several different cultures – brings her closer to a teller of tales, taking the viewers that we are on a dizzying journey through time, history – both major and minor (hers and ours), cultures and continents.

Vincent Delaury