Mohsen Keiany

  • Painting by Mohsen Keiany / 15758Painting by Mohsen Keiany / 15757

    As a 14-year old Iranian boy I was enlisted to the Iranian army. At school I had been fed political propaganda which made me fearless, with an obsession for guns and religious doctrine. However, upon fighting on the front line of the Iran/Iraq War I quickly saw, first-hand, the horrors and futility of conflict and violence. I lost many friends and witnessed many traumas: the sight and sound of bullets and explosions; the horrific injuries of wounded and dying soldiers, many crying for help; and having to walk on dead bodies encased in mud. These are just a few of my memories.
    My own physical wounds and scars eventually healed but the horrifying memories of war took me down. I managed my mental recovery through painting and drawing. Art has been my closest friend since childhood, and came to save me in my darkest time.
    In 2000 I escaped from war and setteled in England. Living in Birmingham, I was able to rebuild my life and eventually establish myself as a renowned artist. I have exhibited in the UK and internationally. I have also lectured in art and illustration at a variety of universities including Birmingham and Coventry.
    My artwork is very much contemporary, however it is also influenced, stylistically, by classical Persian art. I see it, almost, as my mission to produce artwork that expresses the uncomfortable and tragic realities of war. Indeed, many of my paintings allude to the transformation of human beings into dehumanised killing machines.

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