Inspirations — Ashkan Honarvar

All of the incredibly talented Ashkan Honarvar’s art deals with the darker sides of the human mind through the undeniable and unavoidable beauty of the human body. The universal human body, used as tool for seeking identity, is the focal point of his work. By dissecting and rearranging images with careful aesthetic vision, Honarvar creates work with an intriguing macabre darkness. Since his graduation from the Art School in our hometown Utrecht in 2007 Ashkan has been making a name for himself with his utmost fascinating collages. Themes like colonialism, war, mass destruction, megalomania and other grotesque behavior are all observable in his progressively growing body of work. We can’t get enough of his enthralling collages and love how the artist combines the abject with the aesthetic, creating images one can’t stop looking at. Being very inspired by Ashkan’s vision we asked him a couple questions to find out what inspires a highly unique mind like his.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Ashkan Honarvar, an artist currently living in Norway.

Who is the most inspiring person in history and why?

Ok, this is a difficult one, there are so many persons that are inspiring in the history of the world. Scientists, philosophers, writers, movie directors, kings and queens to name a few. One name that pops in my head right away is Jens Bjørneboe. His book had so much influence on my work.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life and why?
That would be my girlfriend. Her honesty and feedback is very important for me in my work.

Who do you consider the most inspiring photographer?
It has to be either Jeffrey Silverthorne or Antoine d´Agata.

And the photograph that will always stay in your mind?
‘Women Who Died in Her Sleep’ by Jeffrey Silverthorne.

Who for you is the most inspiring artist?

Matthew Barney. I really love his visual aesthetics but also his way of creating, the mood boards and sketches. He is an hero!

And what is the most inspiring music?
I listin to many different kind of music. But the one I always get back to is Nick Cave.

The thing you never go without?
My little Moleskin notebook to write down new ideas.

Your favorite city?
Osaka. Oh the temples… I just love that city so much.

Your favorite hideout?
My Studio at home.

The website you often check?
TwitchFilm for all your obscure and underground movies

The books on your coffee table?
‘Matthew Barney: River of fundament’ by Okwui Enwezor, ‘Alchemy & Mysticism’ by Alexander Roob and finally a book on Henry Darger´s work.

The books on your bedside table?

‘The psychology of Superheroes’ by Robin S. Rosenberg, ‘Hallucinations’ by Oliver Sacks and my ideas notebook. New ideas usually come to me just before I fall asleep.

What is your dream?
An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would be nice!

What would you do if you could start all over again?
I wouldn´t do much differently, I think.

Portrayed with the interview is a selection of Ashkan’s incredible series from this year named ‘This Land’.
“One of the modern era’s greatest tragedies. The Israeli – Palestinian conflict has a complex history that all started with the British colonization of Palestine from 1920 till 1948. After over 50 years, who has a right to what is no longer relevant as now there is only chaos and death. And the world just looks on.”

See here for more work by Ashkan Honarvar