Fariba Ameri was born in 1959 in Tehran into a multicultural family. Fariba grew up captivated by her grandmother’s chilling stories of her escape from Moscow during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution, their exciting cosmopolitan lifestyle in Germany and the subsequent immigration of the family to the provincial town of Mashad in Iran to escape the ravages of WWII. Fariba’s worldview was shaped by a mélange of Eastern and Western cultures which in turn impact her artistic style and sensibilities. She began to paint at age 14, enchanted by a book about Van Gogh’s life. Fariba fell in love with Van Gogh’s style and the emotional intensity of his paintings. She finished her high school education in Leysin American School in Switzerland and moved to the United States in 1977 to attend the University of Southern California (USC). With the outbreak of the Iranian revolution, Fariba made California her permanent home.
Ameri’s most intense bodies of work have been produced since 2010 when she began to work full time in her studio in Santa Monica, California. Her work has been shown in multiple exhibitions in California . She has developed a unique style of expression in her paintings that is self reflective and honest. Her unpretentious approach to painting reflects her life experiences through a non-traditional use of mixed media, intense color, and surface tension which foster a personal connection with the viewer. Drawing on Persian mythological themes for their powerful imagery, she brings an emotional and intellectual intensity to each canvas. The same impulses inform her sculptures which are highly interactive pieces. Like the paintings, they summon the viewer to investigate and to contemplate.
Ameri’s work is influenced by her personal experiences as a woman with a diverse heritage. Her primitive style produces a sense of urgency, presence and movement. Her inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful, dramatic and emotional.
“As a visual story-teller, I am shaped by my past as much as by my present; in between are the values of various cultures,” says Ameri. “What has evolved from my Western and Eastern experiences is a commitment to the freedom of self-expression and a respect for individualism. I feel as Virginia Woolf did who wrote ‘As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.’ I believe that I am a part of a larger world that surpasses nationality and religion.” – Fariba Ameri