Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar painting the mural, The Journey
Iranian-French artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar has launched his latest body of work, The Journey, created in collaboration with philanthropist, entrepreneur and art patron, Ali Jassim. Here, Behnam-Bakhtiar talks us through the inspiration behind the project
The Journey (2022) is a series of ongoing works which are going to be exhibited in renowned galleries in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, London, Monaco, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Paris and Hong Kong, backed by the charitable Jassim Bakhtiar Foundation. The foundation is a platform for funding in which proceeds go to orphans in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and towards building homes and schools for children in need.
Light Crown, oil and crushed stone from Persepolis
Detail from The Journey
Appearing Crown, oil and crushed stone from Persepolis
The Journey was born of the trauma and emotional experiences endured through my life, and more importantly from watching what the Iranian people go through everyday. I will never forget the countless lives of children, our youth and the Iranian people wasted.
It is our moral obligation to do our part regardless of what everyone else is doing.
Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar and Ali Jassim
Bringing in an art patron and philanthropist into the atelier to create works together isn’t a common practice, but everything I have been doing through my artistic career hasn’t been common as well. I am an artist who always goes against the norms.
I felt that I met my brother [Ali Jassim] in a past life. We spoke for hours daily discussing art, life and how we could bring about a meaningful impact in the world via art and culture. Next, all it took was for both of us to get our hands dirty with paint, pick up tools in my atelier for a week and The Journey was born.
Detail from The Journey
Never Forgotten, oil and crushed stone from Persepolis
“Sassan is a highly passionate person when it comes to his roots and people. Coming from the Bakhtiar family, Sassan holds a vast and solid understanding of the challenges the Iranian people have gone through…For him to have lived in Iran seeing how people suffered in various ways fuelled his passion and drive even more. It is only natural for this kind of powerful energy to finally come out and be seen through various means including art.” – Ali Jassim