Beachroad Magazine head to Vancouver to meet artist Sasan Nasernia. Born in Tehran, 1974, Sasan began his career primarily as a calligrapher and typography artist. Exploring different avenues in Persian and Arabic classical and modern calligraphy, he has since expanded his practice to include painting, print, digital work and installation his work explores a myriad of themes playing with the tension between two opposing primordial elements of order and chaos.
NAME? // Sasan Nasernia.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Graphic Designer.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? // Tehran, Iran.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? // Vancouver.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION // Artist.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARTIST? // I guess there are two aspects to the term "Artist" in this question, one is art as a subject of intense interest and the other, focusing on art as a profession. In response to the first version, my earliest instances of artistic creativity were driven by viewing works of old masters at my city museums, like TMoCA and Carpet Museum. Also I always loved Persian calligraphy and started to practice it at an early age. Those instances were baby steps toward shaping my real interest in taking the art education seriously and finally entering the faculty of art in university, from which I graduated as graphic designer. Now in regards to the Art as profession question, I must say; it was culmination of different factors. For one, I wanted to expand on more different ideas and didn't have enough time to do so by having day job in design field. So like many other artists, I took a leap of faith, and am very happy that I did so.
HOW DID YOUR STYLE OF ART DEVELOP? // I think it can be a mixture of studying prominent works of art which are of interest to me, trial and error, and also listening to my intuition and let it take me to unchartered territories.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN CREATING YOUR WORK? // The main challenge for me comes from limitations of time and space (to create as many more of works as possible),and limitations of human body, specially for a person in his 40s!
WHICH ONE PIECE OF WORK HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? // Last year I did an installation made out of wood, titled: Urban Tree. The sheer size of work, intricacy and production / installation details were substantial in contributing to the difficulty of execution.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST BEING IN 10 YEARS TIME? // Hard to say, specially in this world of rapid changes. I tend not to think that long term. In fact as a full-time artist; you should be glad that you are able to work as one even for one year! As for my plans for 2018, I have multiple projects envisioned and lined up, and I hope I execute them all successfully which in return will build up my prospect of becoming a highly successful artist in ten years time!
WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM STUDIO BE LOCATED? // Somewhere in the Mediterranean, on top of a cliff overlooking that royal blue.
IF YOU WERE NOT AN ARTIST WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? // My childhood dream job was to be a pilot,...so maybe that!
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THE ART WORLD WAS FOR YOU? // Frankly I haven't yet!. The term "Art World' still sounds more ominous than inviting to me. It is a complicated, multi-faceted and at times bizarre world which I don't necessarily understand. But the irony is, every artist is part of it to some extent, like it or not.
YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST? // I cannot chose only one. So here is my top five: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Kiefer, Polke, Basquiat.
YOUR FAVOURITE GALLERY? // In Dubai I always enjoyed shows at Third Line. And Leila Heller is also where you get to see the "Mega Gallery" spectacle at its full ferocity.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW ARTIST STARTING OUT? // Think very deep about it, because it will not be easy. But if you are certain, then I would say, try to be honest, and while working hard; never take any of it so seriously. This way you maximize the outcome, while minimizing the injury.
WHAT ART DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH? // Post-war Germany produced giant painters whom I admire. Music is also a magnificent source of inspiration. I have tried my hand at playing and love variety of styles from classical and jazz to electronic, rock and folk.
ART ASIDE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // History, science and philosophy.
IF YOU COULD OWN ANY PIECE OF ARTWORK WHAT WOULD IT BE? // I guess it would be fun to own the ceiling of Sistine Chapel! Although it means that I would own the whole chapel, which additionally in that case; Pope would need to move his chapel somewhere else! Since there's too much political complication here, I'll take Pieta instead!
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY ARTIST ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // Leonardo Da Vinci.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Earth, and beutiful life existing on it.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // That we destroy the planet, ...more than what we have done already.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // I still vividly remember when I was 3 years old, having fun on Caspian sea beaches. Back then beaches were unrestricted and free to women and men alike.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // Buddha. Because of his courage to leave all the wealth and power in search of truth and for his wisdom which has transformed lives of millions and millions ever since his departure from this world.
WHAT IS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // A potted plant.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Minimize computer gaming. Instead try making things with your hands and read those bloody books!
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // My hastiness.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Dishonesty and snobbery. Although I try not to get mad about them. What's the use of getting mad anyway?
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? // Haha this is a fun one,..I think of Adrian Brody! for the "role"!
LAST RECORD / DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // Villains by Queens of the Stone Age.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Once I climbed a cliff and midway realized can't continue and and cannot go back either!
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Andalusia.
LEAST FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Istanbul. Magnificent city, but people try to screw you left and right. On top of that I was attacked and my money was stolen!
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // My own idiocy and shortcomings.
WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // When I think about a diseased loved one. Specially if he or she suffered.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Let's pause and consciously breath. Beware of the breathing as much as possible. This is the beginning of meditation.