Fondation Behnam Bakhtiar interview with Myriam Quiel



1. What is your story Myriam?

My name is Myriam Quiel and I was born in Oldenburg (Germany) of an Iranian father and a German mother. Art has always been the most essential and emotional part of my life. I think I have already felt as a child that art was the only opportunity to immerse myself in a world of creation, without any limits and with plenty of fun. From 1998 until 2003 studied painting at the HFBK in Dresden (Germany) In the class of Professor H.P. Adamski.

After gaining my Diploma I worked as a freelance artist in Berlin for several years. In 2007 I travelled to Iran for the first time, and for me as a “half-Iranian”, it was most interesting to get in touch with the Iranian people and their diverse culture. Since 2009 I am based in Tehran, sharing my life with my husband and our five-year-old daughter.

2. Discuss your art practice process.

Most of my art pieces have different layers that communicate with each other. I would say it is a kind of ‘painted-collage’. I like to combine different types of painting, subjects, etc.

3. What are you doing to grow as an Iranian artist?

Art for me is something international, individual, but of course also influenced by the circumstances you are living in. Since I moved to Tehran and visited many exhibitions here, I understood that generally speaking, the Iranian artists created their own art language and expression to deal with the limitations they are dealing with.

In my opinion art should be always free and authentic.

4. Who are your favourite contemporary artist?

I think Gerhard Richter is one of the most important contemporary painters. I also love the paintings of Cecily Brown or Michael Borremans, Marlene Dumas, Per Kirkeby, Luc Tuymans, Tal R, Valerie Favre, David Hockney and Beatriz Milhazes. I like installation and sculptor as well. For example Edward and Nancy Kienholz, Thomas Hirschhorn, Thomas Demand and more.


5. Favourite musician and film?

This question is difficult to answer, because I like so many different kinds of films and music genres. I like for example the films of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton, Federico Fellini, Jean Godard,Stanley, Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Wim Wenders and Fatih Akin.

Music from Maria Callas, Mozart, Verdi, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Bjoerk, Buddha Bar, Michael Jackson, Edit Piaf, Tom Waits, Coldplay, Adele, Portishead, Eddie Fedder and Rupert Wainwright.

6. What is your life motto?

Goftare nik - Kerdare nik - Pendare Nik 
Good words - Good deeds - Good thoughts


7. What inspires you?

I often use old photographs or fashion magazines to inspire my art process. I like to integrate abstract forms, ornaments. The combination of elements that do not match easily is an important aspect of my painting. I also do sculpture, but not in a classical way. My objects/installations are mostly made of packages, toys or things you normally throw away. I like the idea of recycling, also in art.

8. What do you love most of art?

I love to create something new, to see the world through the filter of art.
I like colors and forms, to be surrounded by aesthetic things.


9. What projects are you working on presently?

I am working on portraits, different appearances of the human being. Especially I am focused on finding something individual in a group or crowd, which seems to be equal.

10. Where can your audience buy your work?

- Gallery Etemad in Tehran
- Gallery Lake in Oldenburg (Germany) 
- From myself direclty




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