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There are so many great women to mention when it comes to Persian fine art. (e.g. Iran Darrudi, Farideh Lashai, and Behjat Sadr ). But the list of the top Persian female illustrators needs some fresh names as the young are stepping in.
While women are undergoing daily struggles in Iran, they’ve never stopped exhibiting their ideas in the form of literature, poetry, painting, illustration, etc.
This article, therefore, is dedicated to the top 5 young, fresh, and sparkling Persian female illustrators that you must know. These are the women you need to keep an eye on as they’re on the rise.
The titles include the IG usernames of the artists as well.
Women in the History of Illustration in Iran
Persians, before and after Islam, have valued art in any form. But literature and fine art have always topped the list of their favorites throughout the history. The miniature illustrations, for instance, have been popular in Iran since the 14th century.
Although women had no chance to become artists 700 years ago, they were presented as symbols of innocence, beauty, and elegance in art. Women in ancient Persian miniature illustrations were sometimes even unclothed to point out the magnetism of pure splendor in Iranian pre-Islamic culture.
Nevertheless, the struggle of Iranian women had given them the chance to break the fantasized visualization of their nature. Pioneer women artists in literature and fine art tried hard to replace the real-world image of femininity with its objectified form in men-created art.
Today, more female artists are participating in this off-the-record movement. And the future of Persian art seems to be inviting on the subject of equality, realness, and trueness.
1. Fatemeh Haghnejad (@_Bluebirdy_)
You can’t make a list of the top Persian female illustrators to follow on Instagram not mentioning Fatemeh Haghnejad. She’s a 29-year-old illustrator whom you might know by the name of Bluebirdy on IG.
Her art can be described as the believable figure of fiction. The characters in her artworks are enjoying their normal lives in abnormal and somewhat surreal settings. The colors that she uses are mainly soft and glossy, which makes the characters’ unknown worlds pleasing for the viewers.
The most noticeable thing about her style is the way she uses curved lines. Her female characters, for instance, often have long, uncontrolled, and flying hair as if they were a symbol of independence in a rather susceptible backdrop.
Could it be an involuntary reference to the hardships of femininity and the desire for self-determination? Why not.
2. Maryam Rahati (@iVjrm)
Being a 22-year-old Persian freelance illustrator, Maryam Rahati is among the youngest talents in Persian art. However, the youth seemingly has nothing to do with the insightfulness of her artwork.
In an environment which is not ready to put away the traditional believes regarding the women’s appearance and role in the society, Maryam has been brave enough to move in the opposed direction as a feminist artist.
However, her artworks are often the incarnations of extremely mixed feelings. As a viewer, you might fall in love with the innocence of her characters when she’s using colors. But you'd feel the tension as soon as she decides to go black and white.
Her characters are either in colorful, calm and secure backgrounds or in an overwhelming, dark venue. But regardless of this radical look, her mainly-female characters are always in the center of the paper as if they were the only thing she wants us to care about.
No matter what the concept is, her characters are desperate enough to reflect the dark sides. They’re often sad, worried, or introspective even when the setting indicates the urge to the contrary.
Maryam doesn’t include her ideologies in her art directly. But she allows her characters to live them in their own isolated universe.
3. Négar (@No_One_Noise)
The next on the list of the top 5 Persian female illustrators on Instagram is a rather avant-garde artist. Erotism in Negar’s hands is not loyal to its meaning since she utilizes it to illustrate a sort of pain that is ostensibly connected with an existential crisis.
The lines that form bodies are always solid, sharp, and obstinate. That seems to be done intentionally to paradoxically emphasizes the madness in which the characters are trapped.
Humans in her artworks are plainly sad and there’s generally a shape, line, or even another character to restrict the movement. This becomes more noticeable when her characters are engaging in superficially sexual activity.
Negar’s take on femininity is also altered compared to more traditional forms of fine art. Women in her illustrations are thoughtful while being depressed. And you can even see them performing acts of violence in total cold blood.
4. Mahboubeh Absalan (@Mahbubeh.Absalan)
Surrealism is not a widely recognized style in Persian fine art. However, Mahboubeh Absalan has employed it to express her feminine feelings in symbolic ways.
Her art is the visualized metaphor of diverse mental states exhibited in dreamlike circumstances.
You can see her own hands—recognizable by the wrist tattoos—in the paintings, indicating the main brawls of the character(s).
But the most noteworthy part is that the artist’s figurative hands are never attached to any human body. (Perhaps she wants to imply a kind of rejection or inconsistency between the feelings, thoughts, and actions).
5. Elahe Zahedi (@elaillu)
Last but not least is a young illustrator who has comprised some minor elements of Iranian miniature in her art. Elahe Zahedi is a Persian female illustrator who’s on the rise, having high-end clients such as Oxford.
But the core point of her career is not about the clients. Elahe has combined some basics of Iranian miniature with other up-to-date factors of web design illustration to create a pleasing style.
Although her style is not ultimately individualized, you can sense the modification among her artworks.
Her characters often have round faces and the colors are always bright and sharp to refer to Persian miniature. Moreover, the backgrounds are principally in solid colors just like the pre-Chinees-influence era in Iranian miniature.
But the overall outcome is modern enough to display her talent in an international environment.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Mohsen Baqery