‘Shattered vase of a sunburst floor, ‘Nightmare on Worringer Strasse’, ‘You have to jump over the fence to see the new moon’, ‘Donkeys always jump up when the snakes crawl’, etc.
The titles of the work of the Arhem-based Iranian artist Arash Fakhim (1987), are simply delightful. His paintings, which usually do not involve any brushstrokes, make me happy. I get energy from the anarchistic, cheerful playfulness with which he manages to bring otherwise worthless material to life. I am actually cheating here because my husband, Oscar van Gelderen, and I already bought a work of his at Art Rotterdam last year. Whom could I give his work to? That person must be sensitive to Arash's eye that is directed at both the of the Middle Eastern and Dutch culture, the country he grew up in.
“An art work should never be too clean for me. If you fly over the Netherlands, you see the fields, you see a Mondrian-like pattern. Everything is framed. But if you were to fly over the Middle East, you would see those folds just like on your duvet. And that is spatial. I always try to find a combination in that. A painting is already a frame for me. I'm trying to escape from that grid. That matrix.”
(Source: indebuurt.nl, Arnhem, 05022019). And he succeeds quite well at that, because his "paintings" refuse to fit into the classical Western, academic frameworks of what a painting should be. He prefers to determine this himself on the basis of the materials that remind him of the past and present, his adopted country and his distant native country. Since only in that combination he feels right at home. Maybe I should just purchase another one for ourselves. We have a couple. Another nice gift for our wedding anniversary. The day isn’t over yet, so ...