|Earth-vessels, a piece from the new Folded Mystery collection. Image provided by Palizgir. Courtesy Global Voices.|
Maryam Palizgir is an Iranian-born artist and designer who currently lives and works in the U.S. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, combining two and three dimensional drawing, sculptural painting and installations focusing on the interaction of geometric abstract forms, color, reflective objects and the layering of grid-like materials.
Palizgir, who currently teaches art at the Ernest Welch school of Art at Georgia State University, has exhibited in Iran, several European countries, the U.S. and Russia, and has been the recipient of numerous international and Iranian awards.
Her current work, Folded Mystery, explores how knowledge is exchanged, how perception widens perspective, and how observation deepens the understanding of reality. “I seek works of art that activate once the viewer is involved,” says Palizgir. “Folded Mystery is about challenging viewers’ perceptions.”
In this interview Palizgir talks about her work, her experience as an Iranian artist, and the constraints this has presented due to both state censorship of artistic expression in Iran and Western stereotypes of Iranians in the U.S.
Excerpts from the interview follows:
Omid Memarian (OM): How was your experience of attending art school in the United States different from Iran?
Maryam Palizgir (MP): The graduate program here in the U.S. is designed for artists who want to incorporate media into their artistic practice and want to expand into areas such as performance, installation, interactive and relational art forms. In my MFA studies, my professors encouraged me to find my own style through three years of course work, art history seminars, interdisciplinary seminars and studio practice. The curriculum for the MFA program in the US is based on developing critical thinking, studio practice and critiques, which are essential for a contemporary artist to develop their fine art vocabulary.