Only 8 and this artist is already exhibiting professionally

Only 8 and this artist is already exhibiting professionally
"When she was only a year old, she received a reward for the best painting from a restaurant"

Rahgozar's paintings were on display at a solo stand at the recently concluded World Art Dubai



By Purva Grover

Published: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 15 Jun 2017, 10:41 PM

Sarvenaz Rahgozar was just 11-months old when she announced to her family that she was going to be an artist. Her parents recall how the only item that caught her attention amidst all the toys was a paper and pen. "We knew it from the way she used to hold a pen or draw lines - her extraordinary talent was waiting to be nurtured," says Badri Kanani, her mother. Of course, as Sarvenaz grew older she began to spend most of her time painting. She is now eight. Her paintings were on display at a solo stand at the recently concluded World Art Dubai, with international artists and art aficionados recognising her works and her bright future. We get to know more about the little artist, a third grader based out of Tehran, Iran.

There are many anecdotes around her love for painting, but this one emerged to be our favourite. "When she was only a year old, she received a reward for the best painting from a restaurant where she was eating with her family. It was at that very moment we realised her love for drawing was more than a simple hobby." Now, lest you think, she is yet to develop her own style, you should know she discovered it when she was just six and began painting professionally. "In the beginning, it was pencil colour and pastels, later on she changed to gouache with watercolour." At the same age, she painted with acrylic on canvas for the first time. Her first piece was titled Kurdish Traditional Dance, and with it emerged her style.

Of course, she, like any other kid, loves to play in her free time, but she gets attracted towards colours vs. toys each time. How does she manage to take out time for art? "I guess it's on her mind all the time. She can paint anytime, but usually likes to paint right after playing the piano." Sarvenaz' first professional exhibition was held in 2016 at the Aftab Cultural Center in Tehran. "Our purpose was to present her art to public. She was acknowledged as the first kid under ten, who was an individual exhibitor." Further, she received a prize from the Vice President of Iran for her painting titled Pain Modern Man.

The titles of her paintings pique our curiosity. Also birds, animals and half humans dominate her work, a unique set of elements for a little artist. How does she pick a subject to draw? "She gets inspired by reading various kinds of books and by travelling to different sides of the country, and provinces, villages, and cities." An excellent example for this was her first day at World Art Dubai where she saw two women and a man - all from different countries (India, America and Japan) wearing traditional clothes. She instantly got busy with painting the same on a canvas, at the exhibition itself.

Shahname, a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi, consisting of 50,000 couplets is one of her other big inspirations. "It is a work of central importance in Persian culture and is regarded as a literary masterpiece. Sarvenaz's thought process is heavily influenced by the Shahname tale of Zahhak, the evil tyrant and Kaveh, the brave man." She gets her sense of recognition of art from her grandfather, Issa Kanani, who was a great musician and could play many different instruments. "He dedicated his entire life to music. Her appreciation for various art forms and artistic spirit is because of him."

We asked Sarvenaz to share her favourite colour and her arty reply left us surprised. (Sarvenaz speaks only Farsi, so her mum translated for us) "Yellow, because I believe it is a colour that shines and adds a glow to my art. Also, I believe if you put any colour next to yellow, it suddenly becomes incredibly beautiful, for instance the grey colour isn't most beautiful by itself, but as soon as yellow stands next to it the combination is marvelous." Her favourite artist is Picasso.

It goes without saying that she wants to continue being an artist; however, she has other ambitions too. "She wants to be a queen and a legislator! But she always mentions her love for painting is endless and her plan is to pass on the art to future generations." Now, that's an adorable, little, responsible artist there.

purva@khaleejtimes.com
A storyteller, Purva is in search of her favourite word


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