Arbor Day inspires talks with painter Manuchehr Niazi on his “Trees” series 

March 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Veteran artist Manuchehr Niazi has talked about his “Trees” collection on the occasion of Arbor Day in Iran.

March 6 is celebrated as the National Tree Planting Day in Iran. Trees have been the central theme of art collections by many renowned Iranian artists, including Sohrab Sepehri, Hossein Mahjubi and Davud Emdadian.

Paintings from Sepehri’s “Tree Trunk” series have been top sellers at the Tehran Auction several times.

The 82-year old artist said that he and Sohrab worked at a joint atelier in Tehran located across from Shahr-e Farang Theater in the Abbasabad neighborhood.

“Sohrab worked on tree trunks too, but his trees were painted in an amber color while mine were mostly colorful,” he told the Persian service of Honaronline on Wednesday.

“These days, my main focus is still on the ‘Trees’ collection. Of course, they have changed and this change of process is quite clear in my recent works. In my old paintings, there was no sign of individuals among the trees, and the trees themselves looked like people. However, in my recent works human-like shapes and figures are wandering among the trees,” he explained.

He said that the silver screen has been the source of inspiration for his “Trees”.

“When I used to go to the cinema on Lalezar St., (once known as Tehran’s Broadway), the silver screens were very interesting for me. I used to look at the screens repeatedly for a long time and used to see some forms, which later became sources of inspiration for my ‘Trees’,” he added.

He further added that he believes there is no must in art and artists can paint their own trees. 

“There are those who paint trees with all their details, the branches and leaves. But I follow my own tastes and ethics, which tell me to focus more on tree roots,” he concluded.

A collection of Niazi’s works is on display at Tehran’s Boom Gallery in an exhibition, which will come to an end on Friday.

Photo: A painting by from Manuchehr Niazi’s series “Trees”. 

RM/MMS/YAW

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