Fariba Safai is an abstract figurative artist born in Tehran, Iran. Her work that expresses the tender yet powerful collision of: her childhood experiences witnessing the revolution in Iran, her escape from there, and her love of nature growing up as a child in California.
The artist earned a B.A. in design from SFSU and a BFA in sculpture from California College of the Arts in 2004. She is an artist, activist, and poet. A performing artist at women’s rallies including: at “No Borders No Walls” and “Freedom for Iran” rallies. Fariba has exhibited her paintings at the Swiss Art Fair in Zurich, ArtBox Projects and at the artist residency Chateau Orquevaux in France. She was commissioned for a street art mural project in Crete, Greece.
Her performance poetry has earned her media mentions from major television news stations. She has also had write ups in Create! Magazine blog and had her work featured by All SHE Makes, Visionary Art Collective, and Visionary Projects. She is presently part of the female artist collective called The Art Queens, led by Ekaterina Popova, and is currently featured in FRONTRUNNER magazine and Artist Talk magazine out of London, England. Fariba currently lives and works in San Francisco.
She is currently represented by Maison Contemporain for selected pieces.
The canvas is my north star. Born in the East, raised in the West the orientations of my heritage direct my brushstrokes as I record what was, depict what is, and dream of what could be, expressing my longing for a collective reimagining of the world. Recognizable forms such as flora and fauna representing innocence and her struggle to be seen, remain, and cared for. The strength and beauty of the feminine and the constant struggle with the patriarchy’s dominance over her are at the heart of my inspiration and voice. Through art I can access the inspiring shifts in social consciousness, resisting hegemony, and finding the courage to envision a reality where all life could be shared and valued from. The figurative abstractions express the power in vulnerability, a refusal to take cover or hide.
I enjoy the physicality of the creative process, working on the wall in a large format where I’m able to feel the urgency of our dilemma in my body and infuse my work with that energy. I layer my materials, oil sticks, oil paint, spray paint, to distort the image to reflect the chaos, obscurity, and subterfuge impacting our lives.
Some of the artists whose work has pathed the way for my artistic exploration and expression are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso. As well as contemporary female artists such as Sanam Khatibi and Tshabalala Self. Their work a beacon as too lean into my art as a medium to speak up for Mother Earth and the human condition in the 21st century.