The eponymous Monaco-based contemporary and modern art gallery Galerie Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar is focused on showcasing the works of Iranian artists despite rising global challenges. Here, founder Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar walks us through the gallery’s current show, the newly revamped Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar and her perpetual mission to showcase extraordinary talent.
Being involved in the international art scene for over a decade as a private collector, as well as acting as the collection curator for Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar, how would you best describe your role today as a prominent supporter of art?
Having been exposed to modern and contemporary art from my teenage years in the Middle East where I grew up, I found this affinity with many established and emerging Iranian artist’s works. For the past 10 years, I have met a large number of artists, either in Iran or living abroad and I felt a connection with their oeuvre and techniques. For me these experiences developed into a deep appreciation for their refined practice and identity.
Under the umbrella of Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar, I have been acting as the collection curator for a decade now, acquiring works by established and emerging Iranian artists. I was also involved in various activities of the foundation, such as the launch of a biennial award which debuted in 2017, event sponsorships of various artists such as Parviz Tanavoli and Nicky Nodjoumi in Iran, France and the Principality Monaco, as well as a multitude of projects with select artists supported by the foundation.