The Roots of Feeling paintings came out of a nearly ten year investigation of the dichotomy between order and chaos; polar opposites which exist both in the natural world and of human experience. Known primarily as an abstract painter, I was compelled to know more about my childhood years in postwar Germany. I researched noted German artists and writers to establish art historical context. I pored through family memorabilia and found artifacts and photographs dating from 1945 to 1961 as resource material. I produced ten mixed media, autobiographical paintings about family events which incorporated disparate elements such as enlarged photograph transfers, mirrors and obituary cards. This resulted in two distinct bodies of work, abstraction and figuration, over a five year period .Merging these distinct themes, the paintings evolved into the Roots of Feeling series, (2015-2016), an amalgamation of iconography from my personal history combined with shapes observed in nature; rhythms and remnants found in the natural world and of things that live within. Farsi, a language I share with my Iranian-born husband and our combined family, is also referenced in some of the paintings, as well as patterns from the Persian culture found in traditional rugs and mosaics. A pale blue linear shape in varying widths weaves through and connects each of the nineteen paintings. I have always worked large and bold, using oil sticks which allow for greater spontaneity and raw physicality. I am interested in filling the painted surface with a cacophony of abstracted symbols, lines, shapes which have become my personal visual language. With no horizons lines or perspective to give order or focus, I seek to convey chaos and fragmentation, or calm and refuge in varying degrees. As a German-born artist and American citizen since 2006, I was concerned about “Angepasst” in my earlier years. I have now discovered that visually communicating themes of nostalgia and memory in an authentic and honest way, and responding to the complex world we live in and my unique time and place in it, is both transformative and freeing.
Mally Khorasantchi 2016