If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:5:35

Video transcript

[Gowanus, Brooklyn] So much of being an artist depends on daily life, daily interactions, daily politics. And so much of the work is about representation of self. ["Maryam Hoseini's Every Day Abstractions"] The first time that I realized that making drawings is something I really love is when I was thirteen. I had this teacher at school, and the way that she was teaching-- and also she's such a strong being, as a woman in a place like Iran-- that I think I was so interested in that. I vividly remember the time that I was like, "I want to just go to these drawing classes." "I want to keep making work." And I had piles and piles of papers at my parents' house. I always feel like I'm a drawer. I start with it, I make some painting, and then I make drawing on top of it. So it's always a back and forth. So I was asked to make work about this famous poem, "Layla and Majnun." It's about a forbidden love. I developed this series, "Secrets Between Her and Her Shadow." I was more interested in the female character, because apparently no one was paying attention to her, because it was all about how Majnun lost his mind. I was so curious about Laylah as this very vulnerable female that was banned from speaking and even desiring what she really wanted. I think so much of the work, it's a mix of humor and fear. There are moments that you really laugh even though you're afraid of a lot of things. In my earlier paintings, the space the figures are located is more legible. For the past few years, I have really used that legibility. I have chosen to present the bodies without the head, because of the politics around identity. These fractured spaces and fragmented bodies, that is somehow the reflection of my own personal experiences and life, as an immigrant and as a person who is not even able to travel to my country, and to return to my work and life here in America. I mean, these bodies they have anxiety. But also on the other side, they are very strong. I am giving them power. I constantly think about the body interactions inside of the painting and the body relationship to the physical space around it. I'm interested in the space between painting and drawing, public and private. That in-between space provides some sort of openness for the bodies to move fluidly, for the viewers' interpretations. The presence of people there, it almost completes this-- or builds this-- performance there.