Bahar Behbahani: Biography
"It started out very simply…
In the spring of 1973, in the city of Tehran, I was born.
My early childhood consisted of rolling around amongst my father’s writings, seeing myself through my mother’s pictures and splashing around my uncle’s studio.
Love, light and color were the main course at my family’s house.
I was 6 when I noticed the people; they filled the streets shouting with their fists clenched in the air.
When I was 7, the people’s revolution was achieved.
Under nightly bombings, in the basement of our lovely home, I was learning the meaning of life.
I was 10; amongst the rubble of my neighbors’ house, the death of my best friend’s brother and the constant fear of losing the roof over our head. My little sister was born, and with her came happiness.
So at an early age, I learned the contradiction of being.
Fighting, hiding, bravery, timidness and covering my femininity were what I learned in school. At the same time, my mother and father worked hard to teach me to question what I learned from the outside world.
I hear my father humming a melody, my mother’s laughter, my sister stroking the piano and it is in this environment that I became an artist."
Before graduating high school, she witnessed a revolution, an eight-year war, and her country in the midst of uncertainty, repression, hope and contradiction. As an artist, she continues to reexamine love, identity, freedom, femininity, morality and humanity.
Her imagery is informed by the cognitive dissonance between comforting familial attitudes and cultural brutality. It is the ambiguity and tension between these two states of existence that she aims to express in her work by balancing images of tenderness and violence and inviting the viewer to decide what is real.
Bahar Behbahani was born in Tehran, Iran.
She is currently living and working in New York and her Tehran. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Painting from the University of Tehran.