Artist on Paper | Athena Motamedi: The Role of the Mind | Editorial on Art Yourself Atelier

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ARTIST: Athena Motamedi

DATE: 2024.05

The Role of the Mind

expressionism, personal growth, cultural impact, intergenerational perspectives

The Role of the Mind

In every artistic field, there exists a spirit and sense, the source of which is the mind, and indeed the mind knows no bounds. Art is an unknown sensory feeling in which the heart and mind play roles in its formation. An artist is a creator. In my childhood, I was unconsciously sensitive to the world around me, and my perspective on others differed greatly. This divergence was a subject that I gradually became aware of over time. Unlike my artist friends, I never harbored the wish to be a painter or an artist; in fact, I didn't even realize that being an artist was a profession. It was during my initial independent presence in a community, namely school, that I became aware of the difference in my perspective compared to others. My concerns were different, and this difference was most apparent in art class. My angles of vision in drawing a figure and my use of colors differed from my classmates. This difference always intrigued my teachers and instructors. It was during adolescence that I realized my strong inclination towards painting, while unconsciously having been interested in it before, as well as enjoying creating various forms with any means available. I participated in various classes and initially started with the style of realism. Later, through more exploration, passing through various academic stages, and receiving guidance from instructors, I became interested in expressionism and continued on that path.

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

It is worth mentioning that after completing my high school education in the field of graphic design and continuing in the same field at the associate degree level, I became more acquainted with various disciplines such as photography and illustration, and I benefited greatly from them. Even after completing this period, my mind remained restless, seeking further exploration of the mysterious world of drawing and illustration. Therefore, I pursued my studies in the field of illustration at the bachelor's level and graduated.

Figure design was another of my interests, and for this reason, I actively participated in free design clubs that were run underground. My line drawings, colorful palettes, and favorite themes, which always revolved around the inner conflicts of humans with their surroundings, caught the attention of a personal mentor who guided my mind to the place I had been seeking for years. He introduced me to the style of expressionism, and to this day, I have been eagerly pursuing further exploration of this style, progressing forward.

It is worth mentioning that I was not unaware of various designs using composite tools and drawingpen. At some point, I felt the need for more knowledge and growth, so I migrated from my hometown, which was deeply religious, to the capital city, and I endeavored for excellence, striving for a goal beyond what is defined for an artist. However, after gaining extravagant experiences, I came to the conclusion that there is no ultimate goal, and the more I know, the less I know, or perhaps I don't know at all. Consequently, my works have been exhibited in galleries and major events in Europe and America, and I have been critiqued by expert professors. The result of migration is always expanding communication and acquiring more information and valuable experiences. And to achieve these results, one must be courageous.

Today, my mind is filled with various topics for activities in the field of performance art, conceptual art, and even interdisciplinary arts, which I will undoubtedly pursue at the appropriate time and conditions. Climate change has always been influential in lifestyle and artistic creation. The notion of climate's impact on human behavior and thoughts has ancient roots. Scholars in various texts explain how weather has deeply transformative effects on human customs, beliefs, and thoughts. Climate change affects the environment, shapes livelihood patterns, and leads to cultural transformations, giving rise to new artistic subjects. Indeed, climate and nature have a significant impact on the formation of an artist's mentality. On the other hand, artistic works, besides their aesthetic aspects, reflect meaningful connections between humans and the ever-changing world.

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

Art and its diverse scope play a crucial role in shaping developmental concepts. Artistic works, in today's context, have the potential to influence and bring about transformation in the public sphere of society. Additionally, they possess significant economic potential. The art economy and the added value of artistic works have turned this field into a special opportunity in recent decades. Various individuals and institutions have seized this opportunity for investment, leading to the accumulation of artworks. However, this situation still causes intellectual dichotomy among artists. Art, without income, solely for the sake of expressing the artist's thoughts and sharing them with society, contrasts with art with income, which, in my opinion, can only represent a form of professional artist. Because, to me, a professional artist is someone whose income derives from art and doesn't need to engage in other unrelated activities to make a living. It is for this reason that I say a full-time professional artist is someone who, in any form, whether through art education, selling artworks, activities in the virtual space, participating in biennials, events, festivals, and competitions, publishing books of their works, or in any other way, earns income from their art.

I cannot accept that an artist should sit in their secluded corner and create solely for their own satisfaction and that of a few individuals. Nowadays, in the contemporary era, to convey the hidden message in your art, you must interact with the world and introduce yourself and your art to the world. Only then can you fulfill your mission properly. Of course, artistic thinking and lifestyle are not something that exists in every person who identifies as an artist. There is a thin line between a true artist and a pseudo-artist, a line that, on one side, involves artistic perspective and vision, societal and global concerns, personal and psychological experiences, conveying information and messages through an artwork, and on the other side, revolves around working in the market and seeking fame, merely creating an empty showcase for earning money and being seen.

Now that this discussion has reached this point, it would not be devoid of kindness to include a portion of Mr. Shahabeddin Nejat Tehrani discourse as the concluding part of this article, which, in my opinion, accurately refers to the artistic lifestyle:

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

Image Provided by Athena Motamedi

"An artist in a cave or an artist in a bar In various forums and gatherings, the discussion revolves around whether an artist should pursue their artistic life separate from daily routines or be more social and engage in parties and gatherings. This issue is somewhat similar to the words of the wise about the advantage of silence, seclusion, or careful speech. The issue is not whether silence and seclusion are good in themselves or whether a mundane life devoid of creativity is the main issue is "quality." An artistic lifestyle is not about living stylishly; it is about the quality of living; whether an artist is alone in their cave or creating in a bar, they must produce something valuable, whether important or unimportant, in the form of an artwork. Speak with quality, listen with quality, and even enjoy with quality and laugh at the essence of the world. Being very present at every moment is much more valuable than just "being." We will not have a roadmap unless we imitate, and the only way not to imitate is to focus on the quality of life rather than the subject of life; living creatively will be something other than living consciously, and living in its entirety will not be living consciously."

Human beings in this world, apart from the physical elements that bring artistic works to the realm of perception, are dependent on the soul. The soul is the same feeling that is reflected from the human mind for creating artistic works, and all the necessary tools and instruments used to create artistic works influence the soul and mind of humans. An artist reveals the mysteries of existence with their artistic work and, in this way, connects themselves with the universe, a connection that is as vast as the universe itself.

About Athena Motamedi

born in 1989, Tehran, Athena has pursued her studies in the field of Illustration at the undergraduate level. She is recognized as an artist in the style of Expressionism. She has always had a particular interest in drawing with drawingpen and ink, they are her preferred tools in her work. Currently, at the age of 34, she is engaged in the field of visual arts.

Her Past Exhibitions and Events

2007, Won the first prize in the category of documentary photography in Photographers' Association

2013, Tehran, Participation in the exhibition, Haft Samar gallery

2014, Tehran, Participation in Tehran painting week

2016, Participation in the international (I breathe with you)

2019, Tehran, Individual solo exhibition of drawing titled: "Swelling", Baharak Gallery

2020, Karaj, Participation in the fifth annual painting of Alborz province

2020, Tehran, Participation in the group exhibition of visual artist, Del mansion gallery

2021, Tehran, Participation in the group exhibition with titled: "Review", Baharak gallery

2023, New York City, Solo exhibition with titled "Suspension", live on Art Yourself atelier

2023, London, Was chosen as the artist of the week by squint gallery

2024, New York, Was accepted to the largest global event NFT.NYC

2024, New York's Times Square, Participation in the group exhibition titled "art lovers lounge" in international women's month on the billboards