Younes Faghihi

Multidisciplinary artist


Liberating Letters!

The mirror of the mind

Words and letters are vital elements of communication. Having experienced first-hand an authoritarian regime that heavily relies on censorship, I witnessed how words might be spoken out in specific circumstances, but formed into letters, might be violently suppressed, with potential dire consequences for their authors and recipients alike. My work thus constitutes an attempt to free the imprisoned letters from all repressions and constraints, including the dictates of meaning and, in my most recent work, the fixed boundaries of the rectangular page or canvas.

As an Iranian abstract painter, I also see my work as an intervention aiming at reclaiming abstraction from overly Western-centric narratives to increase the visibility of alternative lineages and traditions. My paintings, sculptures, and works on paper are in constant dialogue with Euro-American contemporary artists such as Frank Stella and Larry Bell, and movements ranging from Shaped Canvas to Support-Surface; but they also draw from my comprehensive training in traditional calligraphy. The gestural qualities of calligraphic brushstrokes forming Persian letters, their dynamic curves and ligatures, constitute the basis of my visual vocabulary and the primary material of my artistic inspiration.

I would describe my artistic trajectory of the last two decades as a progressive expansion and radicalisation of my successive attempts at liberating words and letters. From 1999 onwards, I progressively designed my own calligraphic style, which I called “Toranj” (“citron”), a type of citrus that is also a recurrent motive in traditional Iranian art. It is the first calligraphic style to be entirely designed for contemporary painting. It is characterised by dynamic upstrokes and generous downstrokes that are particularly well suited to acrylic paint and to swift wrist movements that might be reminiscent of the gestural painting style of lyrical abstraction. For that purpose, I created a new calligraphic painting tool, called Toranj qalam, consisting in a large wooden spatula. From 2005 onwards, I started using words “freed from” meaning, which allowed me to focus exclusively on the formal qualities of letters. In my most recent series of works, from 2019 onwards, I explore the sculptural properties of letters beyond traditional formats such as rectangular canvases.

3D view of the "Mirror of the mind" installation

I free locked up calligraphy letter forms which I use as an abstract form in my art, from the rectangular canvas from acknowledging the shaped canvas movement.

Younes faghihi

Untitled { from the series the world of words }, Acrylic on canvas, 130x227 cm, diptych, 2022

The Arches { from the Rainbow series }, Ink on 300g coated paper, 60x80 cm, 2020

The Arches { from the Rainbow series }, Ink on 300g coated paper, 60x80 cm, 2020

Untitled { from the Siahmashgh series }, Acrylic on canvas, Left 100x100 cm, Center 130x130 cm, Right 100x100 cm 2019-2020

Untitled { from the series the world of words }, Acrylic on canvas, 150x360 cm triptych, 2017

Younes FAGHIHI | Multidisciplinary Artist


biography elements

1981: birth in Iran

1991: starts practicing painting

1997: High School Degree in Graphic Design

2001: Professional Degree, Iranian Calligraphy Association (high honors)

2003: B.A. in Visual Arts, IAU Central Tehran Branch (Iran)

2001-2002: teacher University technique Ali Shariati, Teheran

2010: Research Scholarship, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Settles down in Paris definitively.

2020: Artistic residency, La Pratique, Vatan, France

2022: National Diploma of Plastic Arts ( Licence ), EESAB (European School of Art of Brittany)


2013 : Manart Gallery, Paris (Quand les lettres fond l’amour, Solo)

2014 : GRK Gallery, Paris (Le monde des mots, Solo)

2016 : The 100 Gallery, Paris (Le monde des mots, Group)

2018 : Olivier Mousson Gallery, Paris (Solo)

2018 : Bonham’s (Los Angeles, US) (Group)

2018 : Kamil Gallery, Monte-Carlo, Monaco (Group)

2019 : Artsy, Mana art centre ( The world of words, expo. Monographique)

2020 : Saatchi Art Gallery ( New This Week, Group)

2021 : Donya Gallery, Paris (Fête des Puces, Group)

Younes FAGHIHI | Multidisciplinary Artist

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Nika Shakarami

Pessac city in Bordeaux region

woman, life, freedom

Iranian revolution which began in September 2022 is leading by women has attracted the attention of the world. Iranian artists living in other countries started to echo the voice of Iranian women's desire for freedom. beside it is a reminder for every young girl and boy in the society to know that as a citizen of a country it is their absolute right to demanding peaceful protest about their future and no democrat government can stop them.

unfortunately, a lot of teenagers were killed brutally by Islamic republic of Iran and had no chance to claim their right of freedom.

First project was funded by the mayor of the Pessac city in Bordeaux region. the mural of Nika Shakarami is in a street, which is the place where a large number of teenage students pass daily and the story of Nika have told them by the teachers at schools.

the slogan of woman life freedom is now spreading in world not only to support Iranian woman, also reminding the importance of women's right in every country.

Du 18 Février 2023 au 28 mai 2023

La Cité Miroir - Liége - Belgique

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