When you bubble over with happiness in a good situation, you really live, you‘re really alive. Thank you Jackson!
With a 16 hour ride, recently spent 17 hours in Jackson/Wyoming, and when it comes to Wyoming, after Alaska, it is the U.S. state with the second fewest inhabitants per square feet, but: the entire USA gathers in crowded Jackson.
Flashed by its outstanding beauty and the unexpected art scene over there,
thank you Jackson!
When art is art, and everything else is everything else ..
seen at UNIX Gallery . 520 W 24th Street . New York City
An Exhibition of female Iranian artists.
“If I were to say that I particularly liked the Iranian capital, it would be a lie, but I fell in love with the Iranians as people. Tehran itself is a somewhat exhausting city. Persia, on the other hand, is beautiful, magical, and almost fairy-tale-like.
I had the opportunity to get to know Iranians as open, warm, hospitable, well-groomed, and interested people throughout. Women in colorful hijabs, tunics, and long robes, ranging from deep black to green and red; men in silver-shining suits. And a whole nation that smells of delicious floral rosewater.
How often I was approached in English, asked questions, and greeted warmly on the colorful fruit, vegetable, or clothing markets that I visited alone. When it came to bargaining, complete strangers often spontaneously supported me, even though every seller was already very accommodating on their own. Strange women, young and old, invited me for a cup of tea or wanted to have lunch with me. I rarely felt as welcome in a country as I did in Iran. And that was every single day. And by the way, there, mangos, peppers, cucumbers, and so much more taste as they probably should.
I still remember to this day the freshly baked, flatbread-like, large rectangular bread that you dunk into creamy Iranian yogurt with shallots and salt, which I loved so much. For months, I couldn’t get enough of it and got so used to it that I still miss it. It’s called „Barbari.“ And before heading to the embassy in the morning, I would always stop by one of these special Barbari bakeries.
You can recognize Barbari bakeries by the long lines of people already formed there in the early morning. The bakers who hand out Barbari through a larger window to people on the street only sell this one type of bread: fresh and still hot, baked in open ovens, with a golden crust that’s gently crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Few things taste as original, pure, and incredibly good. You could get these delicious breads for the equivalent of one euro, and I’m still crazy about them to this day.
While waiting for the „golden bread,“ I was always curiously observed. My very fair skin, light green eyes, and European features were quite noticeable among the Iranian crowd. However, I was never shamelessly stared at, approached in any inappropriate way, or looked down upon. I always tried to behave as inconspicuously as possible, keeping my head and gaze somewhat lowered. If I did happen to look up and our eyes met with those of an Iranian man, we both immediately lowered our heads and gazes. Often, the men were even more embarrassed than I was.
In general, I behaved very modestly in my daily life in the capital. I can recommend this to any woman traveling to Persia. For me, it was both a matter of respect and an interesting experience, a enrichment – a charming spectacle – to behave so differently from what we are used to. However, this is certainly a societal order that should be critically questioned.
My body was more than compliant with the regulations; it was covered except for my hands and face. It was only occasionally that, due to the headscarf loosely draped around my head, a blonde strand of hair would escape and fall into my face. Young Iranian women, in particular, were much more relaxed in this regard and willingly showed off their often light-colored hair.
The dress code for women in the countryside and other cities of the country appeared to be less strict than in Tehran itself. However, there were exceptions: Mashhad and Qom, as religious strongholds, are also known for their strict adherence to dress rules. The extraordinary culture, historical remnants, and sources of tradition more than compensate for having to be completely covered in the summer, even at 40 degrees Celsius. And you get used to it really quickly.
What I didn’t give up was wearing robes and loose tunics in cheerful, friendly colors. I often wore my favorite colors: pink tones ranging from raspberry red to rose pink, and that was, at least in Tehran itself, somewhat unusual and conspicuous. During Ramadan, however, I adhered to wearing dark, subdued colors when going out.
In Tehran, buses run through the city all year round, and a kind of „morality police“ collects girls and women who are not dressed properly. These collected ladies are released when their fathers or husbands pay a fine. These are the darker sides of the country.
During my year there, I was approached a few times by an Iranian man when I was alone on the train on my way to work or back home. The way they approached me was always the same: a single, often good-looking and well-dressed man would walk alongside me and try to hand me a note with his phone number. He would politely speak to me alternately in Farsi and English. One or two very friendly but firm „Merci!“ (thank you in Farsi) were enough for him to step back, and I could continue walking alone without a phone number.
I also traveled alone, even by plane, although the German Embassy strongly discouraged domestic flights for security reasons (I was in Iran in 2013). Nowadays, this may have changed as sanctions no longer prevent aircraft from receiving necessary spare parts, and flying in Iran is safer. A train or car ride in this vast country simply takes a very long time, and traveling without domestic flights means seeing far less than you’d like. I paid the equivalent of 20 euros for each round trip and saved myself ten to twenty hours on the highway.
During one of my trips, I was spontaneously invited to the home of two young girls I happened to meet in a park. They wanted to show me their home to their parents. I gladly went along, enjoyed great Iranian food, answered curious questions about Germany, and learned a lot about Iranian culture. Like many young Iranians, they were not studying in Iran but in India.
One rule I always followed was never to be outside alone at dusk. I did this in Tehran and on all my trips. If I was traveling, I would return to my hotel before dusk, and in Tehran, I was always with others when I was out and about. Unfortunately, a woman is considered a „loose woman“ if she is alone outside once the sun has set.
Looking back, the most unusual thing I did in Iran was probably skiing because Iran is not typically associated with skiing. I lived in the north of Tehran, which was ideal because Tehran is located at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, and the first ski lift was only a few kilometers away. Life on the slopes was much freer than in the rest of the country. The girls wore form-fitting ski suits in bright neon colors and cheeky helmets instead of modest headscarves. Loud techno and electronic music played on the outdoor speakers of the ski huts and could be heard on all the slopes.
In the summer, I practiced golf, not played. Women were not allowed on the 12-hole course in the heart of Tehran. So I got a golf instructor, and we hit balls on the driving range. Unfortunately, her English was not particularly good, which is unusual for Iran and Persians. Apart from „Nice shot,“ she couldn’t say much, and she couldn’t give me precise information about technique and mistakes. But the feeling of „playing golf“ in Iran was so special that I booked hours with her again and again. In a tunic and with a headscarf, of course.
Other sports I practiced in Germany were impossible in Iran. Only when it came to jogging did the embassy staff have luck: The German Ambassador had a residence with a huge garden surrounded by a wall over four meters high. There, we could run our laps in T-shirts, shorts, and without headscarves.
My favorite dessert in Iran was freshly squeezed carrot juice with two scoops of creamy saffron ice cream, which was available at almost every street corner in spring and summer, and I must have enjoyed about 50 portions of it within a year. Especially these days, I fondly remember it since the ice cream season is in full swing here.
Carrot juice as a healthy drink, with the saffron cream sensation inside. Admittedly, the Europeans I met and asked about this dessert found it to be not very tasty. In my opinion, everyone should at least try it and then pass judgment.
Overall, I had a wonderful year in Iran with almost exclusively positive impressions. I can only advise women to travel to Iran alone and independently. Some of my German acquaintances believe that my trouble-free travel experience may have had to do with having diplomatic status or a diplomatic passport, but I believe that it couldn’t be seen in my daily life, and I was always treated respectfully, never inappropriately, and always very kindly.
I was in Iran from 2012 to 2013, so my stay there is a few years ago. However, I still enjoy writing and talking about it. And from an Iranian woman I befriended and still regularly correspond with, I know that little has changed. So, if anyone has questions or needs advice, I am happy to help with the knowledge I acquired during my time in Persia.“
I’m currently in the countryside of the US, and that’s where I belong to(o). There’s definitely more art in the US-cities; they are leading art cities, anyway. But artists often get inspired by nature and the countryside, and so they enjoy their roots.
And don’t be arrogant: Your beef doesn’t come from a cow standing on 5th Avenue.
A lot of art wouldn’t be possible, wouldn’t have such an impact if we only focus on the cities. So, let’s dive deeper, be inspired, be entertained, and be in awe of all that the countryside makes possible.
Nature does not need us as human beings, but as human beings, we need nature, maybe more today than ever before.
Let’s look at Georgia O’Keeffe, who is named as one of the greatest female modern artists in the US. There’s an article about her in the upcoming October issue of the magazine ‚Cowboys & Indians.‘
To be honest, it’s not the only article about art in this magazine, but let’s focus on Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico.
Georgia, it is written, traded her home in New York City for a life of solitude in New Mexico properties. She’s called someone who’s synonymous with New Mexico. And, sad but true for others, if most female artists had to suffer from not getting attention in her period of time, she did. Georgia became very successful during her lifetime.
The US-American artist was married to the German photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who broke her heart so badly that she went into the desert and developed a completely new style of painting. While she was famous for her outstanding close-ups of blossoms, often compared to the female genital area, her paintings in the desert started to be less colorful, with some small flowers in a corner of the painting, maybe, or on top, but much more brown, dry, and filled with death and skulls.
Instead of close-ups of a flower, there were close-ups of the walls of a house, the door as a black rectangle. And back to the desert ground: Sometimes a river runs through it, so hopeful and refreshing as hell as well. But, stop! it’s not a river or a creek; the painting’s called ‚Road to the Ranch.‘
And there the question appears: Did Georgia find her way back to her old style someday again?
The counter question should be:
Have you ever lived on a ranch?
Is there a reason to leave?
And if it makes you this happy, more happiness should be found in her later artwork for sure, if not, in her heart anyway.
Francine Tint’s exhibition „The Sky is a Mirror“ is currently represented at Upsilon Gallery . 23 East 67th Street .
Well, you’re allowed to see in art whatever you want to see. Escape the reality, imagine the impossible, and dream yourself away, interpret, feel, escape.
Art like the clouds on the horizon. Wonderful soft in certain ways. Fluffy. White. Innocent.
That is what you might see if you look at Francine’s art. The surface is not even, and we follow both deeply touched and curious valleys and hills.
There are some transparent elements woven in it.
There’s room to breath.
There is some light, a little bid of shadow, too.
Who did tell you that clouds can’t be clouds if their colourful, too? Every artist will tell you that it’s not white he uses to create the horizon. Imagine the impossible. Explore all the different kinds of material Francine is using.
I loved the current exhibition of Math Bass at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, visited in New York. It’s a wonderfully refreshing art that is somewhat provocative, too.
There are large, serene color fields, refreshing and soft tones that harmonize beautifully. It exudes a calming beauty that makes us feel good, alive, and part of something viewed in a positive and optimistic light. Even the headless horse.
Could it be magic that this exhibition creates such a feel-good atmosphere? but it’s not. it’s what it is.
Math Bass, a female artist, born in 1981 in New York and currently based in Los Angeles, creates a joyful journey with exciting motifs and soothing colors. That’s a perfect match! an atmosphere that whispers, ‚Come closer, look at me, immerse yourself in me“, somewhat like nature, perhaps.
Something that doesn’t harm.
Something that simply feels right and pure, allowing us to breathe.
Art, as clear as looking up at the sky. And out of the blue, you love art, even if you never did before, I assume.
If art is an emotional approach, this exhibition is an aesthetically happy place. Not to diminish its significance. I love beauty, always have, always will, and beauty in art deserves a fresh perspective in the art world. No excuses, no regrets, just for the sake of fun, a good time, a great life, and a piece of amazing art.
If anything, my work exists in opposite to the harsh and often gray reality of New York. I hope that this opposition will fade as I will find the spaces and communities in this city that offer a respite of safety and beauty in a sometimes difficult external environment.
My work has always been situated within the specific cultural landscape of the United States. I‘m interested in how questions of identity, and feelings of belonging and loneliness, are informed by the images that circulate around us.