Seroj Barseghian, Untitled, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery
Taking up this issue’s theme of ‘The Diary of an Artist in Confinement Interesting Times’, Selections invited artists to share their thoughts on work, art and life in general since the beginning of the year. We guided them with the following questions:
What image(s) illustrate(s) 2020 for you so far?
If you were to write a note, a reminder, a memory to yourself, or to the world, in a time capsule, and you were to open it 15 years from now, what would it say?
If you had to describe the year 2020 in brief, what would it sound like?
Some of you have dedicated this year so far to working continuously in your studio; some others have found themselves completely demotivated and have halted everything. What have you been doing? Please describe in detail and share with us the work you have been doing during this period.
The pandemic has changed our perception of time and our relationship to our homes. What is your experience?
How do you see the future of art?
Have you been reading?
Some chose to respond in a diary form or with visual storytelling; others provided their answers at varying length and in different ways. Each provides a unique insight into and reflection of the most extraordinary period of our lives to date.

What image(s) illustrate(s) 2020 for you so far?
Apocalyptic images, entering a new world.

Seroj Barseghian, Untitled, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery
Seroj Barseghian, Untitled, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 100 x 150 cm. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery

2020 to me sounds like the beginning of the renaissance after the Black Death. If there had to be a plot twist, I would like it to continue in a way that every person has equal access to all resources. If I had to create a time capsule to be opened in 15 years from now, it would describe the remarkable historical developments in the medium of drawing.

Seroj Barseghian, Untitled, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery
Seroj Barseghian, Untitled, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery

This pandemic experience improved the quality of our lives, both my family’s and my friends’. Throughout this time, I have been working constantly. Painting for me has always been both a defence mechanism and a strategy to attack. The tool I have been using is a brush. I have also been reading some parts of ‘Painters and Patrons’ by Francis Haskell.

Painters and Patrons by Francis Haskell. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery
Painters and Patrons by Francis Haskell. Courtesy of Dastan Gallery

The future of art is very promising, specifically the medium of drawing as a means to realise imagination. Drawing is constantly being developed and it is expanding in new dimensions. I think, in the future, drawing will be taken more seriously and will be considered as part of the curriculum in primary schools all around the world.

Tools used during confinement
Tools used during confinement

Seroj Barseghian portrait by Serminaz Barseghian
Seroj Barseghian portrait by Serminaz Barseghian

Born in 1953 in Isfahan, Iran, Seroj Barseghian is a graduate of University of Tehran’s Faculty of Fine Arts, where he has also lectured.
Throughout his studies and experiments, Barseghian believes that “strips – in addition to line, shape, space, value, form, texture, and colour – can be a basic element in art.” He states that “these strips can become an alternative opportunity to develop human imagination and visualisation”.
Barseghian has had a number of solo exhibitions since 1990 at galleries across Tehran, and has participated in many group exhibitions in Paris, Mexico City and Tehran.


A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS #53

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SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
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