Artist: Almira M. Nikravesh
Media: Medium-density fibreboard, Hydrocal
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
About the Artist
Almira Nikravesh is a CSULB undergraduate student in the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. She will be receiving her BFA in Sculpture this semester. Her family’s extensive history with art inspired her to pursue it. Inspiration by her family and her origins can be seen in her pieces. Almira chose to study sculpting because she loves that the sculpting department does not restrict the materials and mediums she can use in her pieces. One of Almira’s favorite hobbies is going to the gym.
Farsh consists of two of Almira’s pieces. At the focus of her exhibit is a carpet she designed as a recreation of a carpet her family holds dear. The carpet is created from MDF (medium-density fiberboard). The detail and formal qualities of the piece are very intricate and diverse. Perhaps the most interesting element of the carpet is its abundant use of line, and its wide variety of line shapes. The carpet’s design implements straight, sharp lines as borders, and sinuous, undulating lines and curves to form decorative patterns. The carpet’s utilization of MDF gives it an appearance of having textures that are both soft and rough. The other piece featured in Farsh is a collection of ceramic feet, ninety-one pairs, to be exact. In creating these sculptures, the artist used hydrocal cement. The nature of line, shape, and texture of the feet is very smooth and soft. The white color, sinuous lines and curvatures of the toes and feet, and seemingly smooth texture of the sculptures are especially notable elements that contribute to the piece’s ‘soft’ feel.
Despite their very different appearances and mediums, each of Almira’s pieces beautifully contribute to the conveyance of the exhibit’s overall theme. Almira expressed that while she does not have a particular message she is trying to convey in her art, her pieces are strongly influenced by her family and her culture. Her rug piece was designed to be an exact replica of a handmade silk rug her father bought from Persia years ago. Her family’s rug is revered and maintained as a sacred piece of art that is not to be walked on. In creating her replica, Almira expressed that she wanted it to be used as a rug is intended. She parallels the physical labor and hours that were put into the creation of her family’s silk rug with the computer numerical control hours she spent making her own recreation. Almira was inspired to create a rug to fill overlooked and untouched space. Her intention for her rug to be walked on is reflected in the multitude of feet sculptures surrounding the rug. Almira’s pieces, particularly her rug, strongly showcase the significant influence that Middle Eastern and Islamic art have on her own creations. Her pieces are also evidentiary of her love for simple, clean aesthetics that convey meaningful ideas. This idea is especially seen in her feet sculptures, which are pure, white, and smooth, yet convey themes of walking and hard labor. Both the rug and the feet sculptures come together to present a unified theme of culture and hard work.
Synthesis / My Experience
I really love and appreciate Almira’s work. I find her lack of a particular ‘message’ in her artwork to be very refreshing. I love that her work is personal to her, and in this way, her art is mostly for herself and for her family. I also really love the themes of work and culture, and the ties that they have with one another. I can definitely understand and relate to the connection between work and culture, as I have seen it in my own family members. Culture is a significant foundation for art, which requires immense work. In this way, the two themes go hand in hand. Work ethic differs between and is apart of all cultures, and culture often dictates or influences a person’s work. I feel that Almira beautifully represented this idea, as well as the culture of her own family. The simple beauty of her art very accurately reflects these meaningful and deeply personal ideas.