“I am a painter with the spirit of flying birds. I want to create modernism in an Iranian style; Expressionism in an Iranian style,” he says about himself. He is a painter that in his teens was the son of a great and famous landowner. After the land reforms in 1963, his family went broke and he grew up in poverty. For years, he painted and wrote on his own. His latest novel is the story of many people from the north of Iran.
Having concerns of many generations and in the pursuit of happiness, in his paintings, he draws happiness out of people’s hard work.
In the works of Fakhri Yaseri, one can see the everyday life of the people of Gilan. He held his first solo exhibition in 1983. And then he held other exhibitions.
The following is a summary of his interview with ISNA edited by IFP:
Q: Your childhood was a special one. When did you find yourself interested in art and painting?
A: I was 15. After finishing high school, I went to do my military service. I learned designing under the supervision of a teacher for three months, but then I was sent to Hamedan in west of Iran. Later, I only worked on books and live models. I kept practicing on my own copying from nature. After my service, I was accepted at the Art University in 1977. However, due to financial problems I could not enter university. I brought university to my home instead, and I continued to work on drawing, painting and fiction by reading Iranian and foreign novels. During the days, I was working and in the evenings I was studying and practicing.
Q: What is your style of painting? How did you come to this style of painting?
A: For five years, I just copied the great works of realist artists. After that, I painted nature. I worked in the heart of nature and life. At first, I was experiencing different styles and was looking for my personal style. But since late 90s, my painting style has been Expressionism in an Iranian form. My goal is to show the hidden and daily happiness of the Iranian people. I paint the joys in the form of humor, abstraction, and expressionism. According to the professors of Gilan, there are signs of Fauvism in my works, but I keep up with Expressionism in an Iranian style to show the Iranian culture and ordinary people’s lives. I have gone through many hardships in this way. Despite failure in my marital life and financial poverty I never stopped creating literary and artistic works. After about fifty years of continuous and tireless activity, I continue to work like an energetic artist.
Q: Do you paint with your own personal look?
A: Not at all. I have never worked for myself because the people’s wishes have always been important to me. The painters in Gilan know me as the painter of ugly aspects of life because I paint beautiful things in an ugly way and ugly things in a beautiful form. These things happen automatically in my works. Every now and then I create designs nervously, and scratch lines and colours without any form. Therefore, they sometimes laugh at me, and sometimes they offend me and say I am insane. One of my professors at one of my exhibitions in Marlik Gallery of Rasht told me “You use colours and lines in your paintings in a crazy style.” And another music professor admitted that he feels the colours of music in my works. “You talk about the colours of music,” he said. Another master of mine said “You show modernism in the form of Iranian culture and traditions.” But my only answer was “I am a painter with the spirit of flying birds and I want to create modernism with the style of Iranian painters. Expressionism in an Iranian style!”