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Pejman Ebadi was born in Tehran, Iran, on March 24, 1982, at the height of the Iran-Iraq war. He is aged two when the family leaves the war stricken homeland to find refuge in France. He is four years old when his father, a poet and amateur painter, discovers his precocious gift for painting and drawing. He is encouraged to express himself freely without any particular guidance. He is not tutored and never receives a formal art education. His father takes him to major art exhibitions in Paris and provides him with books of painting of major artists of the 20th century. From the age of four until today Pejman has never ceased to paint, creating a rich, diverse and intense body of work spanning over two decades and covering different styles and periods.
Pejman participates for the first time in a collective exhibition in Paris in 1988 and holds his first solo show in Les Lilas, outside Paris, three years later in 1991. The next year he holds solo shows in Metz, Berlin and Solothurn. Pejman has realised over fifty solo and over twenty group shows so far. Three monographs retrace his entire production until 2007. Pejman has held important venues in Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Metz, Lyon, Montreal, Toronto, Bern, Zurich and Copenhagen. In the year 2000, Metz's Arsenal offers him his first retrospective where 150 works covering fifteen years of work are shown in a public institution.
From a very early age Pejman travels extensively around the world. In particular two trips to the Amazone region in 1991 and the following year, leave strong and lasting impressions on him. In the past six years he has been spending half the year in Brazil, Thailand and India and the other half in Nice, the French Riviera, where he has a studio.
Before anything else painting is a life long passion for me. I had a painting brush in my hand before I could even read or write. Painting is the most natural way for me to express myself; it is something very much innate in me. I donít need to be in a special mood or state of mind to be inspired, in order to create. I have lacked a lot of things but have never had to look for inspiration. I donít even know really what it means to be inspired; whenever I feel like it, and that is quite often, I just get up and got to the studio to work. The feeling of sterility is something unknown to me. Creating art works is the closest thing I have to be in my natural state. Painting transposes me immediately to a world of great intimacy, familiarity; it is like returning to my natural state, kind of returning home.
My paintings are an incessant exploration of my subconscious and all things mysterious and unknown to me within and without. Painting allows me to fathom the depths of my psyche, it is also a place of healing for me, but it is also here that I come close to a meditative state; by this I mean a state of total absorption, where I am totally integrated with the process that is unfolding in front of me. Creating in this sense means revealing and encountering the essence of my own being, my being and in a larger sense, all beings.
I never know beforehand what I am going to paint. Itís in a spontaneous movement that I project myself on the canvas without any prior visualization. Itís the force of the blank surface that captivates and draws me. As the work progresses forms and colors begin to take shape as if slowly emerging from a primordial chaos. Slowly compositions and forms begin to unfold; itís the force of the unknown, the energy flow of the subconscious that manifesting itself through the creative act guides me through the work. Itís as if, mesmerized by the invisible, its echoes guide my steps. Here we are talking of something very different to an installation; itís rather a un-installation. I donít oppose the visceral element to the cerebral one, itís just that in my work itís the irruption of the former that gives the impetus to the elaboration of the later; there is sure a thinking process involved in the act of creating but it not one born out of conceptual reasoning and ideations.
Itís always difficult for me to express my paintings through words; for me creating comes closer to something that I would describe as a shamanistic voyage. Words fail to capture the essence of the world of spirits. The same as with my painting; its language belongs to another world, rather, to the other world; the world of the unknown and the unseen.
In a deeper sense, I paint to allow my soul to liberate itself.
Pejman or the groaning ruins
ď How are you
to know the tigerís cubs if you donít enter its lair?Ē
One word comes to mind when I look at Pejmanís paintings: mythologies. When I look at them, I feel overwhelmed by stories of godheads and goddesses, of ferocious combats, conquests, and the surging of emotions linked to this glance leaves one dumbfounded like what follows a cavernous trip to the realms of a Primordial Subconscious. These are buried totems that remerge to howl their power to the world. They are filled with love and tumult. They are embedded in cries that remain hushed and in words that doubt. These mythologies remain secret. They participate in a vaster scheme than that of the painter himself: one of going ďthereĒ and retrieving signs and signals. When the young Arthur Rimbaud writes in his ď Letter to the seerĒ: ďHe reaches the unknown and when, terrified, he ends up by losing the meaning of his visions, at last he has seen them! Let him die of his bound through things unheard of and unnameable: other horrible labourers will emerge; they will begin from those horizons where the other had succumbed!Ē it is of this he is speaking: of this journey to the core of oneself, of this dive inside a perpetually renewed sea wherein one has to lose oneself in order to discover nuggets of fire and colour. Pejman is akin to Rimbaudís desire and is directly in his lineage; he collects the emotions of an ageless age and speaks of a man who has shun his lids.
Neither a quest nor a philosophy, this wayfaring is the desiring of a shaman. Like him Pejman is a visitor of worlds. Like him Pejman is a disciple of the in-between. Like him Pejman is mindful of the unspeakable. Like him Pejman helps us to heal through his sacrifice and glory. Pejmanís vision of worlds creates a catharsis of the view that comes questioning us closest to our obscurities, those places where we do not always wish to go. We have no words to describe these lands. In such parts of Being, opposing and painful forces wage a battle of flames and tears. Here, Pejman is guardian to a Subconscious whose gates he opens with dread and jubilation. We are in want of words to design such lands. Pejman has his strewn images and sometimes phrases resembling claw marks through which he attempts to convey the untranslatable, the unnameable. He is tuned in to an invisible which discloses parts of its body through the veil of dreams, associations, colours and forms. For there is no evidence in Pejmanís paintings. Itís a work that surpasses language in order to restore the at once complementary and warlike relationship between light and obscurity. Its here, in a particular state of trance that we find shamanism at work in Pejmanís paintings. It is this trance that confers a telluric energy to his canvases and initiates movements of Being at the extremity of what is speakable. It is like a shadowís mouth intending to speak yet, not uttering a word, spews out instead its stars in a violent jolt. Pejmanís trance is his mission. Itís a trance-mission.
Datura ( poem )
is in the dark
Like an archaeologist, Pejman haunts, discovers and polishes with his brush the rough bare bones, the broken amphora, the wounded wall. The ruins disclose their learned organisation. He writes ďI paint to surviveĒ on one of his paintings. Yes, that is it! Surviving disarticulation! But to do so it is necessary beforehand to reorganize the chaos, to give it meaning, a sense of direction and only then to take the winding path that leads to the contemplation of nothingness. Music aliments the sound of the brush on the canvas. Itís a beating heart that is of help in the run of oneís life. Pejman is respiring now. His latest works point to a significant advance in the mastering of composition. A refinement is confirming itself. Lets not naÔvely believe (that would reassure us!) that he has quietened down or the fight with adverse forces is behind him. Pejman reflects and reveals the void. With each new painting he undertakes considerable risks. Each time he recommences the world and recommences himself. He is born to himself and born to the Other. Through prolonged acquaintance with depths he has acquired a profound breath that allows him longer dives. Thatís what it is: a greater capacity to looking the Dark in the face! He has come to know the Monster and shows it now to us without fear or reckoning. And in this movement, that goes from 2001 to 2006, he leaves aside the fear of being and composes a tribute to life, highly symbolic, terribly beautiful.
We are enriched with what dispossess us the most.
Alain Hťril 2006
Pejman Ebadiís paintings strike us at once by their differences (and
their resemblances), their heterogeneity and their perfect maturity.
Not a colour, not a shape, not a technique, not a material, and we
assume, not even a way of painting, is recurrent. Thus, we walk like
passers-by from fine intertwined black lines to bursts of coloured
drops, from the crossing of multicoloured lines to monochrome
Richard Scoffier 1991
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