Paintings by Negar Rashidi
Negar Rashidi is a Dutch-Iranian mixed media artist creating her beautiful detailed miniature Delft Blue paintings on oyster shells. Her paintings fuse her technical artistic expertise with climate activism and "omdenken" as the Dutch call it. Which means, thinking differently about things we usually take for granted. Negar mixes the long-standing Iranian heritage of miniature paintings with well known Dutch/Chinese blue paint on delicate objects. Negar often collaborates with other artists incorporating her delicate miniatures into ceramics and other objects. Until now her work has only been available on a commission basis, but Negar has created this beautiful collection for Gallery Sorelle Sciarone.
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About the art works made by Negar Rashidi
Negar Rashidi (1986) is an Iranian fine art painter on raw organic materials based in The Netherlands. She combines her love for ancient Persian miniatures with her adopted countries use of the colour blue in Delft Blue Pottery.
You can recognize her art as her miniature paintings are detailed and finely painted monochrome miniature artworks on shells. She combines the inherent Baroque characteristics of the natural form of the shells with carved wooden Baroque frames. Baroque is an art period that immediately followed the Renaissance. It was the official court style in France, despite originating in Italy at the end of the 16th Century. Baroque was used to impress and alert you that you were entering spaces of power and wealth. Negar combines this opulence of the Baroque frame and style with the oyster and other shells meant to be discarded after enjoying the mollusc inside. In her work Negar manages to capture dual elements of conservation, opulence, environment, raw elements and fine detail.
In a word, Negar's art is about hybridity. Hybrid is a term usually used when plants or animals are mixed to create a new species. Negar's artwork combines diverse elements in her work. Negar does this by mixing her adopted and original culture and mixing her refined art technique with raw natural materials. She borrows from her childhood memories of Baroque furniture with her precise and neat work style as an organic chemist.
Her art pieces are unique due to their hybrid nature, but also because each one of the art objects she creates holds more than 600 years of cultural and commercial global exchange. She brings the ancient Persian history of miniature painting to our modern world and marries it to the Delft Blue tradition from the Netherlands. Her work connects the triangle of commerce between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Negar has always enjoyed painting but attributes her current skill to her teacher Ahmad Haraji. She met Ahmad while she and her family fled Iran, by foot, together in 2000. She was in awe of his refined technique and beautiful artwork. She wanted to be able to paint like him. When she visited him later, he used to give her homework. One of her homework was to fill an entire paper with straight lines until it was completely black under her pen. She hated this exercise and decided to never go back to him for tutelage. It was an awful task. However, years later, as she recounts this story, she now knows the value of this frustrating exercise. Due to this excruciating task, her hand is steady, and she can paint with such fine detail on such a small scale. Even now many of her colleague artists ask her what brush she uses to paint so finely, it's a standard brush. It is just that her hand is steady enough to do this in one line perfectly. Did she understand the value of Ahmed's teaching at the time? No, but it is now a quintessential element that attests to her skill as an artist.
Negar has painted on canvas, wood with acrylic and oil paint for a long time. However, the explosive joy of painting on a shell is unsurpassed. This is her thing. She has always loved creating, and she also works with other artists to create exceptional pieces. Negar and Esther Been, from Maravillas, made exclusive tableware together. Negar still paints in her usual monochrome blue style but with glaze. Esther is known for her high end and personalized table wear. Her plates look precisely like shells through her skilful creations of thin porcelain wear an excellent glazing technique.
On a historical note, our word porcelain comes from the French 16th use porcelain, which they took over from the Italian porcellana, which refers to the 'cowrie shell'. There was no word for the newly imported Chinese vases made from Kaolin clay as the translucent finely boned objects seemingly resembled the dense polished shells. Negar painting on oysters and later other shells plays with the long history of cultural exchange of Chines Porcelaine wear in Europe.
Sold Paintings by Negar Rashidi
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Recent Art Exhibitions
Art Fair: Art Laren with Gallery Sorelle Sciarone. Laren, The Netherlands. June.
Art Fair: Affordable Art Fair Brussels March with Gallery Sorelle Sciarone. Brussels, Belgium. March.
Art Fair: Art Laren with Gallery Sorelle Sciarone. Laren, The Netherlands. September.
Negar's work was almost completely sold out in her debut at Art Laren 2021. The exhibition was therefore cancelled, while she works on a new collection.
Will be updated soon.
In the meantime see her interview (in Dutch) here for Rijswijk Talent Award.
Negar's work has been collected by private art collectors on commission basis in Europe and the U.K.