Visual Trajectory of the Gestation and Birth of The KaleiStars
Before moving to Iran in 1992, I studied Biochemistry at Barnard College and went to Medical School for a few months soon realizing it was not satisfying my inner calling. After exploring Sociology and Anthropology, I immersed myself in Fine Arts at School of Visual Arts in NYC and worked for Christian Marclay, Simon Watson and Peter Halley. I was fascinated by the lives of female Saints and the split between sexuality and spirituality. The colorful play of mosaics, calligraphy in mosques and beautiful sceneries of Iran sensitized me to the invisible world. I paradoxically learned to embrace my femininity and my wholeness… Back in NYC in 1994, I was interested in using the alphabet and colors to bring back a sense of sacredness and wonder. I worked for Mary Heilmann.
Before walking the Camino from the Spanish Pyrenees to Santiago del Compostella in 1999, I was depicting the word and its vibrant energy. My intention to walk the Camino was to make peace with my Christian roots. I had been very inspired by Thich Nhat Hahn to kiss the Earth with every step I took. My true epiphany came upon my return, in my studio. I started to paint landscapes inspired by the photographs I took on the camino. Faces started to appear in the paintings. Even though I walked the camino on my own, I was never truly alone.
Before September 11, 2001, I painted the energy fields I felt around me. Right after September 11, I could no longer use oil paint. I lived 10 blocks from the Twin Towers. I started to paint with my eyes blind-folded using water-based paint. Onto which I drew the outline of a bird using a white pencil. I went from knowing to unknowing, from outer to inner.
I switched from heavy-duty stretcher bars to hula-hoops onto which I stretched fabrics, napkins, ziplock bags. I painted my inner landscapes. I sowed spirals. I drew and crocheted mandalas wherever I went, on subways, on airplanes, in waiting rooms. I still do, especially when I am at a lecture. Not because I am bored, it helps me connect and listen what is said behind the words.
I taught art and yoga to children and adults for 14 years. I loved to inspire children and adults to experience their energies in their bodies and connect to their inner well. I wrote and illustrated a book on the eight knights of love and the doorways in our bodies connecting the physical to the non-physical, also known as the chakras.
By 2009, I painted with both hands uniting the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I took pictures of everything I felt was beautiful and vibrant, a drop of water, an object on the sidewalk, light reflection on glass. In 2010, the kaleidoscopic mandala was officially born. It is my intention that these kaleidoscopic mandalas celebrate beauty, mirror the magical space we are made of, the beautiful beings we truly are. And the breath that connects us all.