Purple Magazine
— Los Angeles issue #30

shahryar nashat

los angeles
art
shahryar nashat

interview by MAURIZIO CATTELAN and MARTA PAPINI
portrait by DANIEL TRESE

Swiss artist Shahryar Nashat is part of the recent diaspora of young artists finding an inspiration and a new public in Los Angeles — pushing California’s light and space art toward intimate, cosmetic, and technological abstraction.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — How long have you been living in LA?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Three years.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Is there a red zone in the city — a place you wouldn’t visit unless forced to?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — No. I like to discover.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — What do you think is missing in art?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — People who genuinely care about art.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — What’s the most fundamental aspect of an artwork, from your point of view?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — To be critical, humorous, and self-deprecating at the same time.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Do you think art can be a way to overcome fear and face the unknown?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — For the artist, certainly. For the audience, I don’t think so.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Are we in a condition of constant fear or constant indifference?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Yes, and it’s quite disillusioning.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Do you think that art can play the role of a forerunner?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Always has, always will.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — If the avant-garde is not in museums or galleries, where is it today?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — In the zeroes and the ones.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Is mediocrity a deadly sin for an artist?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Definitely.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Is art about entertainment?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — For mediocre artists, maybe.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — What is the worst compliment you’ve received for your work?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Someone told me that he was really interested in contemporary artists from the Middle East.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — The best criticism?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Being compared to a legendary dead artist.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Are you still able to waste your time?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — It’s the only way to make work.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — What did you learn from the hardest period in your life?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Don’t expect anything.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Have you already made your masterpiece?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — I feel another one coming on.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Do you ever think about the audience’s reactions when you’re planning a new work?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — I’m my toughest audience.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — Can you imagine a world without art?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — Of course.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — How do you think your career will end?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — With death.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN AND MARTA PAPINI — How would you like your life to end?
SHAHRYAR NASHAT — I often think about it, and I cannot decide.

END

SHAHRYAR NASHAT STUDIO
W 6TH ST
LOS ANGELES CA 90057

SHAHRYAR NASHAT, IMAGE IS AN ORPHAN, 2018, INSTALLATION VIEW COURTESY OF DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY, LOS ANGELES PHOTO JEFF MCLANE

 

[Table of contents]

Los Angeles issue #30

Table of contents

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