(Photo: Masoud)


Nahid Sereshki (Tara)

Iranian Painter, Poet & Writer
Nahid Sereshki was born in 1957 in Tehran.
She took interest in painting as a child. She wrote poems and stories along with painting. Her literary activities include the publishing of the books Identical Twin, which is a collection of poems, in the year 2000, the World of Two Huts, a collection of poems published in the year 2001, and a collection of short stories entitled 319, published in 2003, and The Sky will not Lose Anything in the year 2005. However, she is familiar with the pallet and the canvass more than with any literary activity and this familiarity has been depicted in her paintings.
Nahid began her professional artistic career in the recent decade, i.e. in 1995. Since then, we have witnessed her literary and artistic activities in the press and professional journals.
The concept of humanistic art is always present in her works and one can always trace human issues, including women’s issues, in her paintings. So far, she has held two exhibitions for her works at Banu Cultural Center and the Rad Charity Center, selling her works in favor of children of Bam and the handicapped.
She lives a simple life. Sometimes earning a living affects the promotion of her goals yet this is the inevitable destiny of hers and other artists throughout the history and such problems not only have not made her give up but also have made her resist and be bolder in her art.
She sees bright horizons in her work, saying, “There will be a time when my paintings will be where they should be.”
Her style is mannerism. She works on rough objects. She invites coarse fibers into art in a way that one can find the tenders visual music in her works. The downy, cross fibers of gunny sometimes form the background of a rebellious woman and sometimes a child in a mother’s womb, and sometimes …
Nahid Sereshki says, “The fibers that form my canvass are made of sea algae and hemps. The gunny has a rough surface with which I can better convey the roughness around me. I escape from the techniques of the day and do not want my free nature to be captive to any contract.” Based on the same way of thinking, I did not learn painting with any master, with her nature and talent being her only teacher.
Mannerism: Study of the Paintings of Nahid Sershki, by Sorayya Kahrizi
Mannerism in psychology is ‘exaggerated or affected style or habit’, ‘recurrent stereotypical showy behavior’, ‘abnormal purposive actions’ or only ‘an abnormal form in an adaptive situation’ (Dictionary of Psychology & Psychiatrics). It is a Freudian term and is used in psychology to mean that, in a person, when the desires and wishes are repressed and driven back by logical mechanisms and social contracts, they are gradually affected and consequently manifested in the behavior by exaggerated or affected impulses and lapses. Examples of such psychosomatic behaviors are aphasia, verbal and behavioral tics, stereotypical, showy manifestation and written lapses.
These motivational impulses are not to have morbid aspects all the time. According to Freud, although this repression and driving back can have a destructive aspect as well and its severity in regular persons can result in mental disorders, it is fortunately not harmful in artists or persons capable of controlling and conducting the motivations and rather results in professional progress or promotion of the individual’s social status. As we will deal with it in the following discussion, it will have a positive direction in art as well and will get the form of artistic boldness and esthetic dimensions and will expand criticism as well. Exactly like an athlete who has conducted the aggressive instinct in himself or an artist or literary scholar who has controlled these motivations and shows their positive aspects in his works. For example, the works of van Gogh and Picasso are good examples of tendency towards such motivational lapses and impulses. From the same point of view, the works of Nahid SERESHKI can be put under the category of the behavioral modes of the works of Picasso and van Gogh. Indeed, there is no discussion of comparison of valuation here and the only goal and purpose here is to study a type of common behavior as mannerism in the works of these three painters. Therefore, the reader is required not to be entrapped by any fundamental error in documentation and only make independent judgments from the angle of discussion that has been set forth.
If you carefully look at the works of Picasso, you can notice some sort of ‘purposive incoherence’, which one can find in the way the broken, puzzle-like lines of his works. In fact, Picasso, by creating and applying a type of inflexible, broken lines, tries to communicate the mannerist personality of the lines so as for the continuous, stereotypical incoherence to express a new contract for pleasure. For example, he draws the eyes in square form. This is exactly the orientated, stereotypical show of the Picasso type.
Vincent van Gogh does the same thing in another way by using paint. In van Gogh’s paintings, the excessive use of the yellow color especially supports the judgment that there is a artistic gluttony in the works of this Dutch painter and such tendency for compensation and saturation in the excessive use of the yellow color is in fact the stereotypical> preservation of van Gogh color tools.
Almost all the works of Ms Nahid SERESHGI have a type of stereotypical cycle in the communication of visual impulse concepts and the limit of its cycle has been formed in the mannerist core. This manifested core has been formed in *** cores such as extreme selected or reward outlook in the use of visual concepts such as woman, representing the formed psychosexual impulses which always have a matching conformity to the main human motivation.
The type of use of the broken and eclectic but positioned concepts revives a sensitive-like transfer of a broken inductive logic, i.e. the emergence of linear boldness begins with an inductive introduction but results in no inductive meaning. In fact, in a logical space, the visual concepts give up to some sort of anarchism and release from logic that encompasses a type of emotional, logical discourse.
Perhaps the question is revived how such impulses emerge and what is their psychobiological basis.
Psychologists generally divide motivations into two types. One is drive motivation such as thirst and hunger, which act in relation to the physiological causality.
The second is motivations such as the sexual urges or aggression, which return to the stimulating states, such as seeing the desirable mate or a situation for showing aggression. A number of psychologists consider these motivations to be interacting with each other, for example seeing a delicious food can reinforce the internal drive factor of the need to food. (Hilgard S., K)
In the human brain, there is a system known as the limbic system, in part of which, i.e. in the surface of the mesolimbicdopamine system, this nervous system always creates interactions for motivational activity, e.g., by stimulating this part of the brain, the neurons of this system are formed from above and the axons are sent to the relevant section. For example, the mate creates the feeling of pleasure. In fact, any reward that is desirable for this part of the brain results in its stimulation and activity. For instance, if cocaine, amphetamine or heroin, which are artificial rewards, reaches it, the same neurons will be activated. This system does not create pleasure on its own, but makes the individual have the wish to repeat the event, which repetition itself is equal to the feeling of pleasure, i.e. precisely the pleasure of repetition in using the artificial reward of amphetamine or heroin.
What receives more attention in this part of our discussion is excess in repetition. Repetition has in fact a vital relation in esthetic issues as well, which we have already considered in excessive showy and stereotypical moves and introduced as abnormal repeated performance of a behavior.
In a simple language, if we considered the eclectic and broken but stereotypical lines in the visual concepts of Nahid Sereshki’s works to be from a motivational origin, we will conclude that the effect of the rewards and repressions in this artist has resulted in the emergence of impulsive mannerist behaviors in her works and her style has to be considered as a mannerist style anyway. In fact, the main thing that happens in the Nahid Sereshki’s paintings is the unconscious psychosexual performance that has emerged in the emotionalist systems of the artist’s mental and visual life in the form of her cognitive plans in her artistic behavior and forms the main basis of her style.
Other than the stylistic study of this painter, one can always analyze a feminist point of view in her works. In the works of this painter as a whole, in a systematic way, the spending of paint, eye energy and contents are always used for emphasizing the character and personality of the women, i.e. the entire elements and tools are at the service of showing and flourishing a feminist viewpoint. This viewpoint may be analyzed in two ways. First, the painter shows strong sadomasochism in her artistic behavior against her sexuality, i.e. with a spoiled performance of humiliating the male sexuality, applies a displacement mechanism, through which she, for example, punishes her horrible mother.
The concept of horrible mother in psychology is used for girls of 5 to 6 years of age, i.e. when the child experiences sexual attraction towards the father. The feeling of rivalry always remains stable in the girl and does not undergo the Electra conflict stage unaffected. In fact, the Electra complex is the same as the Oedipus complex experienced in the male sex at the same age.
If the Electra stage is stabilized in the child, the female individual will always seek to escape from her horrible mother. However, since in the other rational stages, there is no real reason to be in conflict with the horrible mother, and in fact the conscious part of the mind requires her to love and respect the mother, yet the mother-fighting stage has remained in the unconscious, the punishment is transferred by the displacement mechanism to the opposite sex and emerges the sadomasochistic behavior in the female individual.
Electra conflict stage è Stabilization at Electra stage è creation of feeling of horrible mother horrible mother rational contracts to respect the mother è hidden, unconscious hate of the mother è applying the sadomasochistic mechanism (i.e. when the individual cannot abusing others, she transfers sadism to herself and changes it to masochism.

The second type of analysis implies that the painter, during her life or at least in a certain period of her life, was abused by the opposite sex by the latter’s being disloyal or disappointing. Therefore, the bitter experience or complex emerges as feministic attitudes or seeking superiority in her artistic behavior, so as to regain the lost confidence. In the first glance, however, the visitor may classify the works of Nahid Sereshki as feminist works, yet what actually occurs is not sexual equality. It is rather a form of seeking feminist superiority. In fact, the term ‘seeking superiority’ here means that the first role is always given to a women and the role of men is second important and is often humiliated and faces bitter mocking by the painter. In summing up the recent statements, one can say that, in visual concepts, the works of Sereshki are a combination of naturalism and surrealism, i.e. mental experiences that have adopted a naturalist framework.
Almost all the mental levels of the painter form subjectivist surfaces and these experiences have always emerged in a dirty environment. For example, the painting ‘Parasite’ is the female gender depicted with grandeur and resistance while wearing a crown on the head and playing the role of a sovereign and at the same time having a mother’s role while bearing a man on her shoulder in a humiliating way.
In fact, Parasite first of all suggests that the man is always a child and should be borne on one’s shoulder yet she always depicts, other than the childish and humiliating picture of the male gender, a Goatskin concept of the male personality. In the painting ‘Leaving the Scene’, the same mentality is shown. The visual space of the painting is a dirty, littered space with a woman sweeping the garbage. Coincidentally, one of the garbage pieces is the picture of a man, which is swept away along with other pieces. In more simple words, in leaving the Scene, Nahid Sereshki is trying to depict that the male gender is part of the garbage and the space should be cleaned of it.



Iranian Contemporary Painters


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