Farzad Kohan

Iranian, 1967


Born in Tehran, Iran, Farzad Kohan now lives and works in Los Angeles, California, where he trained as a sculptor in the 1990s. The artist's sculptures and paintings explore core themes such as love, migration, and identity by incorporating appropriated media and found objects.

Inspired by his personal history and surroundings, Kohan places an emphasis on form, allowing the successive stages of art making to become analogous to the diasporic experience, as diverse, sometimes opposing, elements are sampled, accumulated, and juxtaposed.

The artist, for example, layers and consequently strips back abstract works through a process of painting, collage, décollage, and sanding. Thus creating built-up yet weathered surfaces that are at once chaotic and methodical. Allusions to the passage of time, gradual transformations, and hidden stories can be found in the tactile details of his treated panels. 

Text is another central element to Kohan’s compositions, as he uses Farsi or Arabic script to add a narrative component. With his most recent series of paintings, the artist records the migration stories of others through excerpted texts or quotes that are written across the canvas in American typewriter font, as if he were creating an archival document. Inspired by the very process of migration, the artworks reflect the difficulties of assimilation with techniques that attempt to unify repellent materials like oil and water based media. 

Alongside his sculptures and paintings, the artist maintains a large body of works on paper, expanding it on a daily basis and experiments with installation.   

Kohan has had several solo exhibitions and been part of numerous group exhibitions across the globe. His works are part of private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.