Monthly Artist Showcase- HELEN ZARIN


Spirit CC

Zarin – The name instinctively provokes the imagination with the mystery of antiquity, of an illustrious by-gone age. Zarin’s paintings coerce the viewer to engage her works and command one’s attention.  The swaths of bold colors tempestuously sweeping across each canvas coalesce in the finality of her penultimate and ultimate brush strokes into work of compelling sophistication. Zarin hails from the ancient metropolis of Shiraz, Persia, which is home to poets, writers, architects, gardens, world famous pistachios, and the internationally acclaimed Shiraz red win grape, which has been transplanted into the world’s most famous vineyards.  Zarin’s varied influences of her native land inspire canvases with a cacophony of color, but with a distinct focus in mind.

Untitled        It is a difficult and fine line to walk delving into impressionistic and abstract elements flavored with intellectual concepts of music, dance, literature, history, landscapes, and interiors.  Zarin fearlessly treads into these realms  without trepidation and exults in the struggle. Emotional concepts of love, intimacy, joy, angst, detachment, solitude, and indifference all exist on Zarin’s palette that she masterfully pours onto her canvases.  The viewer is left intellectually and emotionally drained with this confrontation. Growing up as an Orthodox Jew in a Muslin land of Sharia Law presents its own set of challenges to Zarin.

LAMOUR XXXIVMuslim Koranic morality bans alcohol in all its forms as “hiram” (evil, sin).  Just as the revered centuries old Shiraz grape stands in opposition to the prevailing culture in its venerable, unchanged, primordial state, Zarin emulates its tenacity and conviction to exist and prosper.  Both have survived the cultural conflict in Shiraz to be, to blossom, to advance.  Both are a testament to the enduring transcendence of distinction. Zarin shares her novel artistic vision to the world despite all odds.

Conditions in her native country eventually compelled Helen to turn elsewhere for creative nourishment. “Hard work and talent are not enough for an artist to progress and blossom, creative freedom in the right atmosphere is essential,” she remarked. In the pursuit of these artistic prerequisites, she journeyed first to Europe where she displayed her works in Vienna before coming to the United States in 1993. She has continued her education first in New York and currently in Baltimore, Maryland where she resides.