Human Being, Being Human: Farzad Kohan

6 December 2019 - 4 March 2020

Galerie Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar presents for its grand opening the exhibition entitled Human Being, Being Human, by Los Angeles based American / Iranian artist Farzad Kohan, exploring a segment of human experience by focusing on positive messages that hold essential values for a prosperous existence.


The exhibition at Galerie Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar in Monte-Carlo is artist’s first solo show in the Principality of Monaco. The works exhibited are at once joyous, uplifting, and representative of an enriched life experience. This becomes apparent through the repetitive messages and patterns over colorful abstract backgrounds, which makes the messages on the works mantra or affirmation-like, enforcing it into the viewers psyche. 


Farzad Kohan’s latest paintings explore themes of love, kindness and human identity. Through his artistic process, Kohan layers then strips abstract works through painting, creating built-up yet weathered surfaces that are at once chaotic and methodical. Allusions to the passage of time, gradual transformations, and hidden stories are found in the tactile details of his treated canvases. 


Text is central to Kohan’s compositions, as he uses English or Farsi script to add narrative elements. In Human Being, Being Human, he describes moments of realizations as well as longing and desire for an evolved positive state, with repetitive statements that are written across his compositions. The artist’s messages correspond with the color schemes and textured surfaces of specific works, with abstraction used to detail the various sensations of humanity.


Every one of the works displayed in the Human Being, Being Human exhibition is linked to a motivating life story focused on compassion and kind-heartedness, which the artist is bringing out on his canvases. 

Farzad Kohan’s paintings explore themes of love, identity, human emotion and often incorporate appropriated media and found objects. Partially inspired by his personal history and surroundings, Kohan places an emphasis on form, allowing the successive stages of art making to become analogous to diasporic experience, as diverse, sometimes opposing, elements are sampled, brought together, and accumulated. These apparent stages are integral parts of each finalized work.


Alongside his paintings, Kohan has experimented with installation, and also maintains a large body of works on paper that he expands on a daily basis. Although Kohan’s ink drawings reflect similar themes, their figures signal a representational departure for the artist, as the thin, black outline of a recurring man is delicately rendered and numbers in addition to other enigmatic symbols.   


Farzad Kohan lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Kohan has held numerous exhibitions in Dubai, Los Angeles, Beirut and Amsterdam.


Kohan’s works are held in private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar’s Permanent Collection.