Neda Changizi and her hidden drawings

I went to visit my friend and student mate Neda last Sunday. She was giving away her cat litter box and I have a friend who just got a six kittens litter so …. Bartha system at its best was the excuse for our conversation.

The discovery

We prepared ourselves a cup of tea, I said hello to her son Adrian, and then we headed for her studio room. Now, I had a great shock, I admit. Neda’s flat walls are covered with her work: paintings, digital prints, photographs, mishmash wall-framed pieces, all which I have seen already in the studio and in some exhibit last year, and … the great surprise: seven works that can be all grouped together as line drawings, that I never saw and that I totally love!

What are they

They are all very minimalistic line drawings on canvassed plain background. It’s acrylic paint in the background and marker pen on top. They communicate a strong sense of humanity and love in their simplicity, linked to the very spontaneous, quick, un-technical look and feel of them, the figurative subjects and the very personal take that Neda applies on composition and perspective.She didn’t use to have them hanged, she always hid them but as soon as she made them visible, all her friends, all the ‘everyday’ people that walked in her flat, the plumber, the postman, the meter reader woman, all the not-artist-defined people and of course the odd musician friend, the south African owner of Persian carpets gallery, they all love them. And she loves them too, of course.

The person inside the artist

When I ask Neda where do they come from, why have I never seen them and why is she not showing them all, the answer is very interesting.

‘I love them because nothing I have seen in the art place, nothing is in the correct way, the right order, all is messed up. The bottle is not straight and the eyes out of the line… dreamy to me, not real and I don’t know who they are. I didn’t know I was going to draw three women, why I don’t know.’

It makes people happy as well which is also good.

They are slightly surrealist, they remind of Picasso’s composition, no shadows, the laws of perspective applied differently, suggestive in the shapes, figurative in the elements they are portraying and pure. It is not about the skills but what is inside Neda’s heart thrown out in the world.

“It makes people happy as well which is also good.” 

The battle inside the person inside the artist

And maybe, as we proceed in the conversation, we realise together, just …maybe …it is because of this very direct, very out-of-the-technical-laws-of-drawing, very dreamy, unreal feel that cannot be pinned down, that Neda doesn’t show them in the classic, institutionalized art spaces, where she is instead known for her detailed pictures with drawing on tops, her super realistic paintings and here digitally manipulated pics.

She doesn’t even show them to our teachers because of the pressure, as artists, that we are under, to define ourselves to the outer world, to give the outer insitutionalised world a simple, basic way to look at our art, to look at us as artists, defined, confident, focused. 

But of course we are not: we are human beings that evolve, change, have different curiosities, different ways of expressing ourselves.

“I’m dying for painting and drawing. It just takes me to a different world. I am not here”.

The artist inside the person

When asked if she defines herself as an artist, her first response is ‘I don’t know’

As Neda repeatedly says, she loves art, she loves what she can do with the freedom of art. 

“I’m dying for painting and drawing. It just takes me to a different world. I am not here”.

She went to visual art school at 16, in Teheran where she is from, as she was ‘discovered’ by one of uncles who appreciated her artistic way of expressing her feeling and – I guess- realized the artists inside the person.

When asked, if she produces to sell, her answer is straight, plain and simple: no! so there it is, there is the genuine honest love for art that  creates so much frustration and difficulties because outside, the insitutionalise world, the dry world, defines artists by what they sell.

So thank you Neda, there, in that answer you can see the totality of the Neda artist inside the Neda person! 

By the way… There is also a technical secret she says that she is not ready to explain yet… so watch this space till next time (:

Written by: Elisabetta Andrea Carlotta del Ponte.

2 thoughts to “Neda Changizi and her hidden drawings”

  1. Thanking artist Neda and writer Elisabetta Andrea Carlotta de Ponte.

    We are our own masters and ours alone. I saw the pictures on social media and felt an affinity at once between them and the scribe of the writer.

    I celebrate the accomplishment of both artist and writer in being present in a moment and thank them for sharing that window.

  2. Aw lovely interview about a lovely person by a lovely person! This is what I miss, conversation, observation, thoughts, analysis
    ? write some more interviews, maybe we should all interview each other…?!

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