Interview with Hamed Mostafavi

There is something special with the Asian countries, especially in Iran. A place which some are afraid to observe and understand. Well the truth is, Iran kept its roots. The poets, the painters are still there. Hamed Mostafavi is a painter from Tehran.


When you decided you wanted to paint?

Hamed: I started painting about 15 years ago. But you want to know when I realized that I am painter? It was earlier. I am a painter since I was born.

I believe that because I had a very different childhood compared to other children. I always feel different. I do not want to say that being different is always good, but being different is better than being similar to others. At the end I am satisfied that I had this different life in childhood.

Anyways, I am painting since I was born. And painting is not only drawing or painting. A real Painter paints even when he or she dreams. Whatever I make today has 28 years old experience behind it.


Is honesty important to you?

H: A man, who knows he is chosen, will not work to be famous, because for sure if the goal was only to be famous, he would have not chosen this way to reach to it. I know that if I am not honest when I am painting, then the painting will be the same. And if there would not be honestly between us, I cannot work at all. A sign of this honesty relation is that you find enemies during your works.

But since I was born I accepted this responsibility. So for sure I stand for all the difficulties in my way, because I believe great goals are difficult to reach.



Did the events in Iran that happened in the last 10-15 years influence you as an artist and your art?

H: Not only the things in Iran and this planet, but also other that happen in the infinite universe, influence me. Of course if you meant the social and political events which occurred recently, yes, they influenced me. But I do not limit my mind only to only what I see around. In fact my mind is somewhere beyond these corporal feelings.

At the end I want to mention that I am the one who paints, and whatever happened to me is reflected in my painting. So I would like to refer you to my paintings.

What would you say is the most important lesson you have learned in life so far?

H: The biggest lesson that I got was from nature.

It might be very typical words, and you might have heard it from many other painters, but everybody has a different understanding of nature, and that understanding depends on his concerns and at the end is very personal. An artist, and especially a painter gets that understanding in a practical way rather than a theoretical one.

For example I discovered Sohrevardi, many years back and I understood that he is also researching about light.

Of course new philosophers might have different theories than me as a painter or Sohrevardi, or maybe it just looks like this because I look at things in a practical way and the philosophers search things in theoretical ways.

In short my goal, like Sohrevardi is finding the lights of lights.


WHO do you believe represents the greatest potential threat to your art?

H: No one or nothing can keep me away from doing painting. Because fortunately nowadays I reach to the point that even if I get chained or in prison, I will still do what I should do. Nothing can stop me from thinking except the light of lights.


Do you feel that being an artist implies a level of narcissism? Does it seem to you that narcissism is a requirement for an artist?

H: In my opinion Narcissism or being selfish is not a necessity to be an artist. But trusting yourself is more a requirement for that. Because a true artist has passed his way and in this way he trusted himself, others might call him a Narcissist. In fact it is not like that and the artist has passed a long way to find this trust.


Interview by Bahador Fatemi