Iranian-American artist, Maysha Mohamedi, sculpts and paints, using materials from all over: from the tar that she collects on the beaches of Santa Barbara to tubes of Middle Eastern paint imported from her mother country of Iran. “Up until now I’ve mainly used oil paint, but I’m starting to use more materials that are handy like pencils, crayons, and acrylic paint; anything that’s easy to apply and dries quickly,” she explained in an interview with Matter of Hand.
With most of her work being abstract, her creative process is very much based on intuition. “I want to make paintings that feel very true,” says Mohamedi. “I think I can do that if I don’t control the inception of the idea very much. I’m sort of like a semipermeable membrane; I just look at what’s around me, watch the thoughts that I have, listen to my children, listen to the air. I’m this filter for whatever’s happening around me.”
As for her inspiration, she finds it in the mundanities of everyday life. “I’m inspired by the things my children say, I’m inspired by my husband, my parents, my heritage, visiting other artist’s studios and seeing the way they do things, watching somebody hold a pencil in an unusual way and the way they press it onto a surface,” she explains. “That inspires me because I think, Why not? Why can’t I try that? Everything inspires me. I’m a sponge and a filter.”
Based in Los Angeles, she has exhibited widely in LA and is also a founding member of the Los Angeles art collective, The Binder of Women. Her work has been profiled in publications such as the LA Times and Huffington Post, but you can also follow her online, via Instagram.