Home Exhibitions Nina Rastgar

Nina Rastgar

I am an MFA student and a Graduate Assistant, selected as a Presidential Fellow at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, specializing in Studio Art. My research emphasizes conceptual strength; apart from painting and sculpturing, I have been working with silver, silver clay, and Wax Carving to create tiny sculptures for years.

I was born and raised in northern Iran amongst an ethnic group of Gilaki-speaking natives residing in Gilan’s green and lush province, full of nature, colors, and handicrafts, and because of the climate and fertile soil. My father was also a photographer and documentary director. After my father’s death, I studied in an applied science field, namely agricultural engineering, because of the climate and fertile soil.

Besides, agriculture has been one of the most important and oldest jobs for women in this region, which helps me to support myself and my family financially. During my education, I continued practicing and learning from nature, to be honest and diverse. However, I was raised in an environment in a visual form that comes from male and binary experiences, which has affected me significantly. So, growing up as a

second citizen in a place with primarily homophobic and misogynistic laws based on enduring principles has motivated me to speak out through my visual language. Moreover, I noted that our behaviors towards nature are based on the mistreatments and violence rampant in our modern societies by the authority, which atomized individuals may neglect their connections to others.

Artist Statement

My research emphasizes conceptual strength. I seek to bring concepts from culture and social climate and their relation with political power into my work to understand better how laws, traditions, and ideologies impact the perceived value of a human. My experiences have been infested with economic, climate, social, cultural, and political issues, leading me to break the taboo of exposing the interiority of my identity and body in a land where I lived before. In my work, I want to show you how self-discovery widened my perspective– I expose my deepest emotions about being ghosted and marginalized, which causes depression or isolation that carries a considerable stigma in social patterns and is viewed as a sign of failure. So, it makes me realize why people are ghosted and removed from society. My work uses the concept as a fundamental center of my visual language. I call this process a cycle of perception: from my

experience to a visual realization. I aim to use multimedia art against the atmosphere of violence towards all of us and nature to create a sense of solidarity and invoke a sense of increasingly peaceful coexistence.

Calcium

Year: 2023

Medium: Bronze and copper

Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II

Revolution

Year: 2023

Medium: Oxidized copper and brass

Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II

I am known to produce milk

Year: 2022

Medium: Silver and wood

Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II

Ghosting

Year: 2023

Medium: Bronze & brass with patina

Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II

Anonymous

Year: 2023

Medium: Steel, copper, wood & soil

Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II