Living between two cultures (American – Persian), I find myself in constant translation not only in my day-to-day communication with people around me but also in the way I live and function. Navigating in between two cultures is like translating in between two languages. I draw inspiration from shared visual sensibility, humor, music, rituals, past times, history and understanding and from the limitations inherent in language. For these small works I draw inspiration from lines (weather curved or straight) and dots that are borrowed from Farsi script and letter shapes. These series blur the boundaries between painting and drawing. In a sense that I use paint on canvas but not in the traditional way and mimic writing on canvas instead of paper to draw the lines and dots. I hand sew the dried paint on canvas and embroidered the rhomboid shaped dots. Sewing is traditionally associated with women and hand-woven fabrics, rugs, needlework is a big part of my culture and heritage.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nina Ghanbarzadeh is a transplanted visual artist born and raisedTehran, Iran. She earned her BFA in painting, drawing and graphic design from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2013 and completed a two-year AIR Program with Redline Milwaukee in 2015. In addition to participating in number of solo and group shows, Nina received the Student Silver ADDY, Fredric R. Layton Foundations Scholarship, and the winner of best in show in Wisconsin Biennial 2020.
Nina launched ARTkee Educational Toys in December 2019, which produces SOFTwords, kits of basic shapes that allow children to explore the shapes as images as well as text. Nina draws inspiration for her educational toy business and her art from cultural differences and the limitations of language.
© Nina Ghanbarzadeh