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Art & Life with Amir H. Fallah

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amir H. Fallah.

Amir, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve always been interested in real stories and people. When I first began making art all of my work revolved around my personal experiences. Not all of it was self-portraits but it was certainly biographical. As the work developed I became interested in other peoples lives and began to explore how I could use their life stories as a starting point for work. I don’t think of my work as portraiture in the traditional sense. I’m more interested in stretching the meaning of what can be a portrait and turning the history of portraiture on its head. Currently, I’m working on a series of paintings of mixed races families who live in America. I wouldn’t call the work political but it came about as a reaction to the current political climate.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
There’s a few different projects and mediums that I am working in but I’m mostly known for my figurative paintings where the figure is completely covered with fabric and personal possessions. These paintings all begin with a photo shoot where I go to my subjects home and do an informal interview with them. We walk through their home and discuss the various objects, artifacts, pieces of décor, and clothing that fills their home. I take these objects and create a still life of sorts around the subject. The figures face is always concealed only leaving traces of the body such as hands or feet. These photographs are later taken to the studio and used as the basis for paintings. The paintings are not a one to one translation of the photographs so many changes and alterations are made during the painting process.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Being an artist is only worthwhile if you can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s a constant uphill battle. I’m a big believer in “Where there’s a will, there is a way.” I used to work a 60 hour a week job and painted before work every morning. If you want it bad enough you will figure it out.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have several upcoming shows. In September I’ll be painting a large mural on MOCA Tucson and will have work at Chicago Expo. In LA people can see my work at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery.

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