The Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar has been created to support Iranian contemporary art and culture, facilitating its advancement on a global scale. It is a true example of social responsibility and commitment, contributing to the development of creativity for Iranian artists of all communities. Established and based strategically in the unique peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France, the foundation serves as the cultural headquarters providing a gateway between Iran and central Europe as well as the world. Unique in its nature, reinforcement and support system, this non-political foundation is breaking barriers, while focusing on the introduction of the necessary alternative mindset towards Iran. The Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar focuses on the universal code of the art language, working close with select talents and artists in order to bring forth new inspirational sources and a forward looking way of thinking. The foundation also carries an independent mission in supporting selected young talents giving them a voice on a global scale, as well as the needed support in order for these talented individuals to flourish, prosper and find their place in the contemporary art world.
Over the past fifteen years, the ever-expanding permanent art collection of the Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar has been delicately built by the Behnam-Bakhtiar brothers with a pioneering spirit, focusing on works that go in line with the primary goals of the foundation. Motivated by challenging stereotypical beliefs and opinions about Iran, every acquisition in the collection was inspired by the presentation and exploration of new ideas and perspectives, as well as creation and immersement into a new universe where a new way of thinking is key. Open to different artistic styles, Fondation Behnam-Bakhtiar’s permanent art collection includes the works of iconic artists such as Sohrab Sepehri, Parviz Tanavoli, Shirin Neshat, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, Nicky Nodjoumi, Ardeshir Mohassess, Farideh Lashai, Parvaneh Etemadi, Reza Derakhshani to name a few.
The Behnam-Bakhtiar Art Prize is the foundation’s expression of the solid commitment to its objectives. The award focuses on vital topics related to Iran, which demand or require attention today, giving a voice on a global scale to the artists who are being true revolutionaries or pioneers - awakening, informing, influencing, exploring solutions for a better future with their works. Helping to present and promote this ideology is a cause natural to the core of the foundation.
Dubbed “The multitalented renaissance artist of his generation from Iran portraying a necessary alternative view on his native country” (2014) by The Huffington Post and “A man on a mission to inform the world about the true nature of Iran” (2015) by Harper's Bazaar Art, the co-founder of the foundation, Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar is guided by passion and broad-mindedness for new and constructive ways to expand the understanding of the world towards Iran, its art, heritage and culture.
Through the foundation’s various forms of expressions, the foundation seeks to create opportunities to encourage public awareness and promote the importance of Iranian contemporary art and culture in all communities.