Iran's digital art world: In conversation with Rabee Baghshani
Rabee Baghshani is a digital artist from Iran, and is the latest artist to enter the Iranian art landscape. Her renditions represent a hybrid of east and west, where she bridges together her country's cultural history with our present pop culture. She discusses her unique satire and influences from around the globe with Hannah Crosbie.
What’s the inspiration behind your unique style for the Vogue collection?
I was lucky enough to be born in a country steeped in artistic heritage, and a family that are the also interestingly creative. Iran has one of the richest art histories in the world, across several mediums. Some of these include architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, and calligraphy. I'm personally interested in the pop art movement and works from the likes of Andy Warhol.
For this collection of images, I was first inspired by the Vogue magazine cover which I merged with the idea of merging Qajari figures into a Western context. This contrast created an integral part of this collection.
What is the concept behind this blend of Western and Eastern art?
The most important idea that I always try to convey in my work is the connections between cultures, regardless of difference. In my art, you can see the East and the West in one frame. As you say, there are obvious contrasts in them, but pleasure should be taken from this. I’m an enthusiast of Iranian Qajari and Safavid art, but what I intend to say is that throughout history they have been keen have good relations with all people, regardless of race, colour or linguistic differences.
For our readers who may not know, who are the Qajari what influence have they had on your art?
The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal dynasty who owned the state officially known as the Sublime State of Persia.
In their rule, the most famous portraits were made of the various Persian Shahs, princes and many of the ruler and their sons. For me, the period of Qajar made the most incredible masterpieces.
Growing up in Iran, did you always want to be an artist?
When I was child, I wrote a short stories about a little girl who grew up to be a famous artist. This dream has always been with me and I have wanted this from depths my heart.
What are your next steps in your professional career?
I intend to enter into the fashion world one day and develop an innovative clothing collection for women. My next step as an artist in the near future is taking part in auctions and exhibitions so I can establish an presence in the Eastern art world. I also hope to found an art gallery so that I may introduce and support other young unknown artists. My main goal in my life that overarches all of this, is that in spite of any problems, I must never give up and go on. I believe that for every wish there is a way to realise it.
Images and Art Rabee Baghshani
Edited by Hannah Crosbie