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.
The Age of Energy is a vital core element of my practice. Each piece from this body provides a window to a constant reality in our lives taking the viewer on a journey, enabling them to connect to and understand life’s true essence – Energy. I am happy to be showing these intimate works to the public in my favorite space in London, at Phillips.Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar
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.
We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar and Kamiar Maleki on this exhibition’. This is a remarkable body of work which is not only visually captivating but also extremely thought-provoking. We look forward to opening the doors to our galleries on Berkeley Square and welcoming visitors in to explore this immensely engaging exhibition.Miety Heiden, Phillips’ Deputy Chairwoman and Head of Private Sales, Phillips
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.
PhillipsX Presents Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar: The Age of Energy A Selling Exhibition in Collaboration with Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar, Phillips,30 Berkeley Square from 16th to 26th March
Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar is a Franco-Iranian artist. Born in Paris in 1984, Behnam-Bakhtiar lived in Tehran as a teenager and young adult. The artist’s work is known for exploring his views on life and humanity, derived from his own personal experiences in post-revolution Iran, including the Iran-Iraq war, and his subsequent reflections on those experiences. Currently based in the South of France, Behnam-Bakhtiar’s work has been shown worldwide including in solo exhibitions at Dusseldorf’s Setareh Gallery, London’s Saatchi Gallery and at the Villa Santo Sospir in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Many of the artist’s works are part of notable private international collections.
Kamiar Maleki is a collector, curator, and fair director of Photo London.