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Meet Seda Baghdasarian Saar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Seda Baghdasarian Saar.

Hi Seda, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I grew up in Tehran Iran, and moved to UK with my sister when I was ten- I always wanted to be an artist but after completing my high school and O levels at Battle Abbey Boarding School, I moved to London and started a foundation course leading me to London Metropolitan to study design instead of the fine arts!

After a decade in UK, I graduated with a major in Interior Architecture and Interior Design and a Minor in Photography. I made a film when I was 17 about the evolution of art and photography and was interested in exploration of both mediums- I was offered a job at Channel 4 as a documentary filmmaker but decided to move to Los Angeles following my sister. I was disappointed in LA with fast cars and freeways and my sister got married and moved to Canada! I worked in Silicon Valley corporate design world for over seven years and took courses at Stanford in Photography and design trying to get my architectural license. I met and married at 22 and decided to move to LA with my husband as I was interested in storytelling and themed entertainment. Soon I was working for themed retail and theme parks with imagineers and designers for Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park in Orlando, later Osaka, and most recently Beijing. My journey into painting from nature started when I had my children as plein air became a huge hobby at first but later became a full-time commitment. I quit working full time as a designer balancing painting with the family responsibilities with help.

I decided to bring art and design together a decade later as a concept artist bringing ideas as drawings on paper rendering environments for unbuilt projects. Teaching myself 3d modeling was challenging and practice makes perfect as I bring the ideas of the beauty in the environment together with painterly colors and my first love of painting. I opened a gallery MLY Gallery (Art for Change) in Malibu in 2012 as an environmental gallery showcasing local organic artists and architects such as Harry Gesner and Eric Lloyd Wright as well as Andy Warhol curating museum quality shows and adding them to the collections of the Weisman Museum of Art. The Gallery lasted only four years and had to close since I had to continue my own practice of art and design. After the devastating fires that almost destroyed all my work, we moved to Glendale and I started my residency last year at the Neutra Museum right before the pandemic. I was moved to create new works and installations to support my new mission and vision for my art practice.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
During the years that I was painting in Oils I learnt a lot from master workshops but had to stop painting in Oils as I was being poisoned by them and this came as a shock – I decided to pick up the digital tools and teach myself new programs to paint and draw and create in 3d- An experiment of photography using various materials in full sunlight inspired my Prism series which took three years to complete three paintings! What seemed like an obstacle at first had become my inspiration to create via many mediums- Photography then mixed media layering with painting, Later digitally modeling dimensions and creating sculptural forms. I also designed sets for themed attractions as well as themed retail and environment designs- Created production design for an independent award-winning full feature film (Dancing on a Dry Salt Lake), as well as live improvisational theater (Open Gate Theater) in LA.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My Studio Practice continues today at the Neutra Museum as well as at home during the Pandemic. I am looking forward to creating more dimensional works and environments- Inspired by science, nature and the universe, Spheres series explores forms in nature- intrigued by investigations of infinite space. My interest in the gap between the conscious and the subconscious compels me to question reality and construct environments, paintings, and sculptures that urge the viewer to participate in the meditative spaces where illusion and reality co-exist; prompting our infinite quest for knowledge and deep desire for spiritual connection to something greater than ourselves. Seemingly timeless—a constant renewal in nature begins with every sunrise, morphing colors and perceptions in our mind … equally important to me are the geometric elements that I see and experience, for if the sun represents continuous life and energy, the geometric becomes a metaphor for the importance of the mind in giving this energy form—and it becomes fruitful.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
If you knew me growing up in boarding school in England, you would have described me as artistic, loves music, film, animated cartoons, fun-loving, responsible, hard working (up all night studying for my final exams), takes work seriously but never take myself too seriously- friendly and passionate about all forms of storytelling art- Literature, visual, modern dance, theater, choir, nature hikes, hockey, tennis, and hated eggplants and gooseberries ! I loved being with friends and loved to make people laugh! ( I see that streak in my children ~)

Art always had a special place and I loved drawing from nature or my own imagination, creating characters and scenarios/stories. Most of all I loved to laugh and smile a lot!

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Gateway Arches La Vegas: Image Courtesy of Eric Minh Swenson

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