We had the good fortune of connecting with Maggie Parvaneh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maggie, let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work across Photography, Video and installation. I started my career as a Photojournalist in Iran, which was mostly dominated by men at the time. Against all limitations, I was very enthusiastic to become a Photojournalist. I grew up during the Iran-Iraq War, and I wanted to go to the battlefield but females could not go to war. My dream was to become a Photojournalist so I could go to the battlefield and witness the war in person. My wish came true and finally witnessed two wars when I started my professional career. One was in Afghanistan during the Taliban war, and the other was Kurdistan Region in Iraq. However, after these two projects, I decided to shift my focus on peace and stopping wars, everywhere in the world. My projects ranged from documentary to fine arts. My work addresses dialogues between gender and society, tradition and modernism. As a feminist artist, I am concerned about women’s issues, including women’s emotions, rights and freedom. My inspirations are emerged by reality and abstraction, Iranian miniature, poem and sculptures. I think life experience is what differentiates people from each other; and my life experience ranges from East to West, Iran, India, Dubai, Europe, and the United States. Even after I immigrated to the US, I lived in multiple States and Cities, California, New York City and recently Dallas. Now I can declare myself as a Citizen of the World. I have learnt that LIFE is the most regarded and valuable thing for every human being vs. LOSS is the most devastating event. My goal as an artist and activist is to make awareness and shed light on aspects of life that are not seen. To me, taking pictures is all about movement which is a symbol of life —capturing the essence of motion, the human spirit in bodily form, and distilling this aliveness—where it comes to rest in the frame of a single, still photograph. Storytelling is my art form and my talent. The digital image is my canvas and the human body is my palette. I use the language of bodies in motion to show vulnerability, value, capability and power. I find fascination in whirling female and male models, glistening nudes, brightly colored fabrics or translucent, melting snowflakes. My ultimate goal is to represent a vision of my insight and my life experiences.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My late Grandfather, Hasan Rezaie Tehrani, who was a Master Traditional Plaster Artist in Iran and influenced my vision to appreciate art, history and intellectual thinking. Although Photography, the art medium I use, is considered modern and progressive, however I followed my Grandfather’s vision to regard my community and society’s issues. I aspire to address dialogues between gender and society, tradition and modernism.
My personal image taken by Parmis Arfania Fine art projects: Maggie Parvaneh