Oneness Wholeness, is a major new exhibition featuring the work of French-Iranian artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiaropening at the Saatchi Gallery on 15th May.One of the first artists to showcase Iran through eastern eyes and to challenge the negative constructs of the western gaze, Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar’s practice aims to change the perceptions and cemented beliefs about Iran and Iranians that persist in the West. Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar is one of Iran’s most exciting emergent artists of the past decade.
Oneness Wholeness draws on thousands of years of Iranian culture, weaving ancient Persian motifs, patterns and landscapes into large-scale mixed media paintings, to explore Iranian identity in the 21st century. Descended from the ancient nomadic Bakhtiari tribe, Sassan’s large scale paintings recall the Zagros Mountains in South West Iran that are still home to the tribe, amongst other subjects. Through exploring his Persian heritage and his dedicated practice of Kundalini meditation, Sassan has used his art as cathartic release, leading him to explore ideas around existentialism, human compassion and wellbeing.
Oneness Wholeness will be Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar’s first UK exhibition since The Real Me, his debut in London in 2014.
Sassan is also committed to supporting other emerging artistic talent from Iran and showcasing the rich cultural legacy of one of the world’s oldest cultures. In 2015 he set up the Foundation Behnam Bakhtiar in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where he provides emerging, mid-career and established Iranian artists a platform to showcase their work to the international art market.
Currently based in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Sassan was born during the middle of the Iran-Iraq war in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1984. Sassan lived in Paris for most of his childhood, spending much of his spare time visiting the city’s many art galleries, before moving to Tehran at the age of ten. Sassan began making work in 2009 and has since exhibited internationally. He lives with his wife in Saint-Jean-Cap- Ferrat, Cote d’Azur, where they have set up an art gallery in the neighbouring principality of Monaco, in Monte-Carlo, that exhibits Iranian artists alongside established international artists.
15th May – 27th May 2018