I am Maryam Gohar (a pseudo name I have made up of my real name “Maryam” and my Grandma’s “Gohar” (means gem) who was incidently the very first unorthodox feminist I knew. I am a female artist currently residing in Iran. My subjects matters are always female figures both in accord with their background and at the same time compeletly detached from it.
With Shunga backgrounds, I tried to set free the sensual side of me that has been suppressed for the longest time. I found their bold nature extremely refreshing in oppose to the life I am living as a female artist in my country. By letting the Shunga lines peeking through the frontal figure, I deliberately am trying to smear in some of that “fleshy” erotism and at the same time muffling down its male-dominate narrative by doubling, or in cases tripling, the sensual presence of my female figures in their most vulnerable state. The lines can also be seen as tattoo designs since I have always appreciated the art, the peaceful coexistence of destruction and resurrection on a living canvas.
Using Shahnameh(Persian: شاهنامه pronounced [ʃɒːhnɒːˈme], "The Book of Kings") background goes back to my own roots and history as a persian girl. I was playing with the idea of injecting some sensuality into those raw battle scenes by adding the female figure on top and still letting some of the lines of the background to show through. I was amazed how well-matched some of them especially ended up looking. The more macho, brutal and bloody the scene, the more well-merged the figure and the background would be. It can also be an unconscious effort on my part to make my childhood fascinating nightmares less scary by partly covering them up with a blanket of pure feminity.