JNA Gallery at Bergamot Station this weekend presents the new exhibit “The Beauty of Inner Truth” – an exhibition of mixed media works by the Iranian-born artist Fariba Ameri (pictured right).
An opening reception will be held Saturday, July 13 from 6-9 pm.
Each of Ameri’s paintings tell the story of “woman” and the common challenges faced by individuals of differing cultural origins through the ages.
The exhibition will run through Sept. 1.
Ameri’s work is influenced by her personal experiences as a woman with a diverse, multi-cultural heritage.
Her inclusive worldview was shaped by a mélange of Eastern and Western cultures which are reflected in her artistic style and sensibilities.
“The Beauty of Inner Truth” speaks to this complexity that Ameri likens to a “thousand-piece puzzle.”
Many of her subjects, like herself, are immigrants.
“We could all be considered immigrants of the world, women and men alike, in search of our own destiny and purpose,” Ameri said. “We cannot survive time but our stories will. This is how we become immortal.”
Using mixed media, strong contrasting colors, and animated brush strokes, her work has an intense physicality.
Drawing upon Persian and other mythological themes, symbolic objects (both painted on the canvas and/or embedded) such as fans, head-dresses, jewels and elaborate adornments, Ameri highlights the contrast between what is seen and what is hidden – the creative and expressive side that struggles for personal meaning and validation.
The mysterious and evocative faces that peer back from Ameri’s canvases challenge the traditional notion of a woman’s identity solely represented through her physical beauty.
“As a visual story-teller, I am shaped by my past as much as by my present; in between are the values of various cultures,” she said. “What has evolved from my Western and Eastern experiences is a commitment to the freedom of self-expression and a respect for individualism. I feel as Virginia Woolf did who wrote ‘As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.’ I believe that I am a part of a larger world that surpasses nationality and religion.”
Born in 1959 in Tehran into a multicultural family of Russian, German, and Iranian origins, Ameri began to paint at age 14 inspired by a book about Van Gogh.
Having finished her high school education in Leysin American School in Switzerland, she moved to the United States in 1977, where she got her BA at the University of Southern California.
With the outbreak of the Iranian revolution in 1979, she made California her permanent home.
The JNA is located in the Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Avenue, D4, Santa Monica.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 12-5 pm.
For more information, call 310.315.9502 or visit www.jnagallery.com.