Interview with Gita Meh

Interview with Gita Meh

Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?

I am Gita Meh, an experimental artist, a poet, writer and a lucky aunt.  When I was three years old, I draw my first line on my grandfather’s wall.  My first touch with ashes was with a charcoal.  I am still following that same line.  Only now, I don’t know, if it is me following the line, or the line is following me.

How would you describe yourself and your artwork?

I was born in 1963, Tehran, Iran. My first migratory path first began in 1970, Munich, Germany. My second migratory path began in, 1983, Florence, Italy.  I lived, studied and worked in Florence, Stuttgart, Los Angeles and Dubai.  And since 2011, I work, research, teach art to children and live in Banoo Sahra, Iran.

In 1979 the Islamic Revolution marked for me the beginning of a new avant-garde forms of visual expression in Iran.  It was in 1983 during Iran Iraq war that my parents had to migrate to the West, where I continued to study and pursuit art.  My ongoing body of work deconstructs my Middle Eastern and Western cultures as I reconstruct and reinforce the best of both cultures.  My work promotes multiculturalism and integration by using visual and written languages as tools to form a space of human interaction and cultural integration.  I draw from my personal history and its implications in modern Middle Eastern societies to reconstruct the notion of Middle Eastern art through conceptual thinking.

My work creates visual thinking.  I understand my initial impulse to form and word.  I work on diverse canvases of textural material.  I allow each spectator to re-create his or her own experience of my created cross-cultural spaces.  My art adds a new substance to multiculturalism, giving advancement to the nearing of cultural differences between East and the West.  My work introduces a dialog that critiques the human form, human word and the human home.  My art speaks about distributions of cultures.  I take the initiative using my cross-cultural resources to achieve a broader form of integration. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My grandfather Akbar ChavMeh, my grandmother Zahra Darvish, my mother FateMeh ChavMeh, Nourishers, Teachers, Mentors, Critic and Guides. Their Love and Dedication to Art, History, World Literature, Sciences, Cultural Studies, Politics, Music, writing poetry and Story Telling, all that which took me around the globe in search of myself.  

My Mentors, Jon Wagner.  For Gifting Me with Creative and Critical Thinking, Writing and the Notion of Global Integration.  Madness and Modernity, Jalaledin Rumi, Globalization. 

Teacher/Artist: Karin Atkinson, Side Street Project, Alef Ba Meaning Alphabt, Artists/Writing/Reading Room III, , Los Angeles, CA, 2011  

Artist, Susan Lacy, Work and Survivor, Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA at the Geffen Contemporary, Audio installation, Project Susan Lacy, Los Angeles, USA, 2007

Curator, Zsuzsanna Sarossy, Art Oasis : A GREEN VISIONS, “Think Locally, is To Act Globally.”, Jam Jar Gallery, Dubai, UAE, 2009

Curator:  Stefan Balgo, President of the Inter-Art- Foundation, Romania, “Nations, Water, Cultures.”, United Nations Headquarter, N.Y.,N.Y. , Mail Art Project, A Group Exhibition  |  2013, 

Also along the path of migration I have been inspired by many strangers, many teachers, Cal Arts students, colleagues and supporters, who, with their extraordinary insight and understanding, have given me the ability and the courage to bring my vision into a tangible reality in all ways.  

What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?

Nourished by every planted seed for the future to arrive.

When do you know that an artwork is finished?

I listen.

What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?

The day my mom arrived from Tehran to Dubai for my exhibition; Titled: “I Command.”, from Michelangelo series in 2010, Cuadro Gallery at DIFC.  FateMeh said: Gita, as a child I dreamt to be Michelangelo, so I could transform and evolve the ignorance, superstition and cross-cultural fear with a brush.

“I Command.”; artists statement:

Art is a poetic bullet,

It penetrates right through the spectator.  This series of paintings is dedicated to my grandmother Zahra, who as a child told me children’s stories.  Once there was a hero named Green finger, two armies standing against each other, armed from earth to sky, ready to fight over land of God, Green finger wishes peace above all, at that moment of wisdom, she brushes her imagined scenery, as both armies push and pull the triggers, magically, instead of bullets, flowers leave the guns towards the borders.  This is Love, to make art and not war.

How long does it take to produce one work?

It took me 45 years learning art, in order to take moments to create the concept of new series of works. 

What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks? 

Right now, I am curating with Atelier Natalia Gromicho, a group exhibition of 21 Contemporary artists from Iran at meetiNG art gallery, Lisbon, Portugal.  Downtown Chiado, from 13-19 January, 2018.  Titled: “Soft Silence of the Arts.”    |   Co-curators: Safoora Esmaeil Nezhad, artist and the Managing Director and chief editor of Culture and Art Magazine; “Art In Shadow”, Tehran, Iran, and Salwa Zeidan, artist, Salwa Zeidan Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Group exhibitions:

Parallax Art Fair, Kensington, London, July, 2018

Art Takes Manhattan, March, 2018

Salwa Zeidan Gallery, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Nov, 2018

Solo Exhibitions:

meetiNG art gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2019

Artifact, New York City, 2019

And in the future I wish to plan cross-cultural curatorial work.  Curating a group exhibition of American, Iranian and Arab Artists at the Contemporary Museum of Tehran, Iran | 2019. 

Titled: “American Verses | Iran Verses | Arab Verses.”

Cross-cultural curatorial projects are by far the most exciting artistic work for me.   

Where do you see your art going in five years?

The Arts, Technology, critical thinking and creative writing has prepared me to thoughtfully and gradually challenge the prevailing of universal artistic expressions, and be part of the global village developing new forms and formats in our chosen fields, becoming innovators and leaders of a future to come, that future which we may not live long enough to witness and experience, yet see.

Website: www.gitameh.com  

Instagram: gita_meh 

LinkeIn: Gita Meh   

Facebook: Gita Meh

Per-Inge Isheden

Per-Inge Isheden

Chantal Joffe

Chantal Joffe