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PhillipsX is pleased to present The Age of Energy, a selling exhibition in collaboration with Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar, with the support of SETAREH, and curated by Kamiar Maleki. Featuring 13 oil paintings which explore themes of loss of identity and disconnect due to traumatic events, as well as the reawakening and spiritual transformation that can lead to a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us – these works oscillate between the abstract and figurative. Each of Behnam-Bakhtiar’s paintings in The Age of Energy depict the internal structure of trees which he connects with trauma-recovery and healing. A crucial element in nature which sustains, amongst other things, human life through oxygen production, trees are integral to our existence and the planet and, similarly to us, have a broad spectrum of important internal processes which are not always obvious or visible.
Behnam-Bakhtiar’s oil paintings are created in his signature peinture raclée, an intricate style of painting which involves layering pigmented and vivid colour and then scraping and to produce layers of texture on the linen canvas. For the artist, these layers represent different energies, feelings and moments. He paints one layer and then another for several months and sometimes years to create complex multifaceted works which reference alienation, disconnection, and spiritual displacement, as well as the healing power of energy to ultimately reconnect us to ourselves and the world around us.
With this new body of work, Behnam-Bakhtiar worked in his signature peinture raclée style to produce a sense not only of the interior of trees, but also of the texture and physicality of trees. Time in nature can significantly reduce the production of stress-related hormones, improve mood, create dopamine, and boost endorphins. Through The Age of Energy, the artist explores how trees can have this immensely positive effect on us. His paintings serve as a direct reminder of how energy and nature can have a transformative effect on our existence, help us to heal from our loss of identity, and find reconnect.
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