Aazam Irilian – Art and Cake

May 31, 2024 - Art

Aazam Irilian
Los Angeles, CA
Age 66

What keeps you excited in the studio?
Experimentation lies at the core of my creative process. When an idea presents itself, the first question I ask myself is, “What happens if…?” Starting the experimentation process excites me, but it’s the accidents and surprises that arise along the way, revealing how this new project may take shape, that truly exhilarate me. For me, it’s about the process. If I’m having fun and remain open to possibilities, the end result will inevitably be satisfying.

Looking back at your trajectory as an artist, how would you say your work has developed?
Looking back at my trajectory as an artist, I would say that my work has evolved significantly. Painting has always been my go-to medium, as I believed it was necessary to be taken seriously in the art world. However, I have always been curious about exploring different materials and mediums in my work. The pivotal moment for me was when I decided to liberate myself from this self-imposed restriction. From that moment on, I felt a surge of excitement and creativity, no longer feeling constrained. I realized that I have a lot to express and share through my art, and I decided that the idea or concept should dictate the choice of medium, not societal expectations. At this stage in my career, I feel more liberated than ever before to create whatever I feel compelled to create. I refuse to limit myself any longer.

What role do you think the artist has in today’s society?
I have always believed that artists bear a responsibility to draw attention to the issues we face, both personal and societal. In my art, there is always an underlying message. Whether it involves creating pieces that offer solace and grounding amidst the chaos of daily life or addressing pressing environmental concerns, I aim to provoke thought and action. In my most recent solo exhibit, “Stillness In Chaos,” viewers were encouraged to select a piece that resonated with them, meditate on it, and contemplate why they chose it. This exercise aimed to cultivate mindfulness and provide a moment of tranquillity. Additionally, I am currently working on a body of work titled “Whispers of The Land,” which sheds light on the salinization of groundwater and its impact on farming and the future of our food supply. Through my art, I strive to spark meaningful conversations and inspire positive change in today’s society.

What’s the most important advice you could give to an aspiring artist?
If pursuing art is your dream and passion, persevere no matter how challenging it may seem. Your dedication and hard work will eventually yield results. If you give up because progress isn’t as swift as you hoped or because it feels too difficult, you’ll likely regret it.

Does age matter in art? Why or why not?
The significance of age in art varies depending on perspective—whether you consult art institutions or individuals. Personally, I view age as merely a number and it doesn’t influence my creative pursuits. I will continue to create regardless of my age; as long as I can pick up a tool or brush, I continue creating. If Matisse could create his art in his later years, so can I. However, perceptions may differ within the art world. Art institutions or those associated with them might not perceive the work of an older female artist like myself as relevant compared to that of a younger artist, particularly a male artist—a topic worthy of separate discussion. Nevertheless, at my core, I am a creator, and I will continue to create for as long as I am able to.

What can we look forward to from you next?
I am currently focusing on further developing the “Preserved Memories” installation project to enhance its readiness for museum exhibitions (when the opportunity present itself). Additionally, I am engaged in creating sculptural and multimedia pieces for the “Whispers of The Land” installation. Furthermore, I am actively pursuing grants and planning to participate

Is there anything else you would like to share about being an artist later in life?
I have always dreamed of being a professional artist. Over the years, similar to many other female artists, responsibilities distracted me from focusing on my art. So now at this age I say “if not now, then when?” And I keep going.


Preserved Memories-Installation project- photo credit: Art Documents

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