By Firouzeh Nabavi
“DC Unsettled” is the title of a new exhibition in Washington, D.C. organized by the Art4US artist cooperative. Artists and poets reflect on what DC means to them — through painting, photography, mixed media, illustration and jewelry.
Among the 19 artists and six poets on display are five Iranian artists: Azar Dailami, Parinaz Bahadori, Reza Ghajar, Roya Chadab, and Katty Biglari. The exhibition runs through April 2 at Studio 1469, which is at 1469 Harvard Street (Rear), NW.
Biglari is a co-founder of Art4US and an Iranian-born painter whose work has been exhibited in Washington and elsewhere.
Kayhan Life caught up with Biglari to find out more about “DC Unsettled.”
The exhibition is taking place in a converted garage in downtown DC, owned by a musician who lives upstairs. How did you find the space? And is it an environment suited to exhibiting art?
We were referred to the space through one of our members. Having the show in DC was the objective.
Our scepticism dissipated once we saw the space: Studio 1469 is a completely blank white box and accommodates a variety of artistic media and performance disciplines.
The art and gallery scene in Washington DC has historically been less developed than the scene in New York or LA, but it is evolving. And how is the DC art scene evolving?
The theme of the show addresses this question.
Parinaz’s mixed media work focuses on the divisions felt in the city. Reza paints the angst that he feels living in DC.
Roya was unsettled by the events of January 6, 2021, and the attack on the US Capitol, so her painting pays homage to the trees that stand tall in front of the Capitol.
Azar is a jewelry designer and has created pieces based on the paisley motif. She uses the motif as a connection between her two homes [the United States and Iran].
I thought a lot about how to express my complex emotional response to the exhibition question. I am presenting a pair of monochromatic paintings in acrylic, abstractions of a fictional tunnel with light coming through the opening.
Do you plan other exhibitions with the artists in the show?
Hopefully, we will exhibit together again. The Art4Us coop is only as strong as its individual members. Artists follow their personal creative trajectory and decide if they want to participate in the group shows.
We have programmed a silent auction in support of our Ukrainian member, with artists donating a specific work for the cause.
Other events are programmed throughout the duration of the exhibition, and are advertised on our website: www.art-4-us.com. We look forward to exchanging ideas with each other and with our supporters.