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By Artists For Artists
 

The Safarani Sisters: Two Minds Are Better Than One

A Childhood Rooted in Arts

Artists produce art which is reflective of their inner emotions or personal perspectives, and collaboration is almost impossible as pieces become personal extensions of one’s self. However, Iranian twin sisters Farzaneh and Bahareh Safarani prove that this isn’t always the case.

"Late Afternoon Gaze I" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018
"Late Afternoon Gaze II" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018

Born and raised in Iran, the Safarani sisters grew up with a great interest in the arts and would rather draw with color pencils than play with dolls or toys throughout their childhood. When the girls were thirteen, their parents enrolled them to art classes and to further enrich their skills in the arts. Both later majored in painting at the University of Tehran before moving to the United States to further their studies and earn MFA in Studio Art at Northeastern University.

"8 am Kitchen View" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018

The Uniqueness of Two

Having had lived together all their lives, the artist duo has developed a distinct way in which they work together. Their collaboration wasn’t forced but instead happened organically without any pressure. While studying, they always worked separately until eventually the sisters naturally came together to make art that’s unique to them and their shared experiences—both as individuals and as twins.

"5:30 am In the Basement" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018

“We always get inspired from our very simple to very complex experiences in our life. Our ideas for our works are driven from those experiences because we both live almost the same way and we go through many life situations together. We have been living together so closely for so many years so we kind of come to the same ideas for our paintings.”

"After 12 pm" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018

Projection of the Self onto Art

The Safarani sisters enjoy creating oil paintings on wood panels, which gives them more room to work on the little details involved in producing their pieces. The mood of their work has always been a bit personal and dark. The idea that personal pain produces art is such a passé notion, however, the Safarani sisters take this concept and make it into their own. The result is works of art that move people’s cores with how intricate yet simple they are. They present a refreshing take on inner turmoil. The Safarani sisters are often the subjects of their work and together they portray life as an individual, life as a twin, life as an Iranian, and life as a woman.

"Blue Curtain" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2017

“If we had a happy life, we wouldn’t even be doing any painting, because it’s when you have something that you want to let people know, that’s the time to do something. You won’t move if you’re happy.”

"Twilight Reincarnation" by Safarani Sisters, oil on canvas and video projection, 2018

Perhaps, one of the most interesting things that the Safaranis do is that they marry traditional, still art with motion projections and produce what they call video paintings. Adding the video element heightens the emotion in the work and elevates the elegance already so pronounced in their art which creates an atmosphere that absolutely draws you in.

The brilliant and haunting works of Farzaneh and Bahareh Safarani portray the beauty that can still be extracted from the world which might not seem all that beautiful.

All images copyright of Farzaneh and Bahareh Safarani

You can view more work by Safarani Sisters on their website.

Article written by Kathlene Masilongan

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