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ART / INTERVIEWS / MUSIC / PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

Farzad Golpayegani: The Space Between Music and Art

Welcome to a place where art and music sing in perfect harmony. This is a space that has largely been looked over by many creatives over the years. Not many visual artists or musicians venture here often. Usually, creatives are in one artistic camp or the other, but rarely both. However, Farzad Golpayegani is changing this standard. With his trusty 7-string guitar by his side and his surreal creations inhabiting his imagination, Farzad is laying the foundations to bridge the gap between these art forms in a space between music and art.

Farzad Golpayegani was born in Tehran, Iran and now currently resides in the USA. As the son of graphic designer and painter Behzad Golpayegani, Farzad is following in his father’s footsteps as a visual artist who revels in the styles of surrealism and expressionism. During his high school years Farzad began learning graphic design and painting and graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. While his late father inspired his painterly side, his love of music came from his older brother who introduced him to rock and metal music. In 1994, Farzad bought his first guitar with the goal of taking music more seriously.

Farzad works in both fields of music and art and has composed music for advertisements, animation, short films and video games. His personal art projects combine his skills as a musician and painter to create a unique visual and listening experience. His musical style mixes progressive metal with eastern, Persian and classical music using his 7-string electric guitar and acoustic guitar played in eastern tuning. Farzad currently has nine albums all of which he has been the driving force in as he composes, plays, records, mixes and masters his songs and creates the album covers which accompany the records. He performs much of his music live as both solo performances and with his band “Farzad G Band”.

I hope that my work serves as an inspiration. Witnessing the enhancement of different art forms is truly exciting.

Interview with Farzad Golpayegani

In your own words, how would you describe the art that you make?

My art is primarily rooted in surrealism, yet I’ve always explored my unique approach within this style. I reshape human anatomy, portraits, objects, and nature in my art to convey my messages. Additionally, I incorporate Middle Eastern forms and elements into my compositions, adding a personal touch to my work. Regarding subject matter, I go very deep into emotions, symbolism, and feelings, while in terms of aesthetics and technique, I tend to maintain a realistic appearance.

Who are some of your biggest influences both as a musician and a visual artist?

As a musician, my influences have been very diverse. That is probably how I got into combining different styles into fusion and progressive rock and metal. I initially got into playing music through exposure to hard rock, and metal, but I always have been fascinated by anything that moves me, like classical, jazz, fusion, and folklore.

As a visual artist, I admire Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, alongside more contemporary artists such as Bacon, Jacometti, Picasso, Pollock, Giger, and Beksinski.

Your older brother helped spark your love for music, what kind of music were you first introduced to through his influence?

Initially, I was introduced to the world of hard rock, which gradually led me into heavier metal genres. My early exposure to this music at young age played a significant role in shaping my musical journey. By the time I started playing the guitar at the age of fifteen, I had already immersed myself in rock music for several years, which greatly expedited my learning process and eventually enabled me to start teaching guitar after just one year of playing.

Has your father’s work inspired and influenced you as an artist?

Certainly. While I never had the opportunity to learn directly from my father due to his hospitalization when I was only two years old and his passing when I was seven, growing up in an environment with his artworks and creations in every corner greatly contributed to shaping my artistic vision.

Do you approach working on a new visual piece the same as you would approach a new song or album? Or is it a different process entirely?

There are similarities between the two creative processes. Both demand extensive study, practice, experimentation, and moments of inspiration. I either experiment with guitar riffs and jams or sketch and conceptualize ideas in my sketchbook when I’m in the early stages of creating music or visual artwork. These initial phases are crucial for finding the direction I want to take and developing my ideas into finished pieces, whether they be musical compositions or visual artworks.

Your paintings have an alien-like, ethereal quality to them, what are your thoughts on this interpretation?

You pointed that out accurately. While it is not my goal to give my work with an alien-like appearance, my approach involves simplifying figures and utilizing human body proportions to convey concepts and emotions. I generally leave the interpretation of my work to the audience, but personally, I don’t try to create artwork that appears merely scary or unsettling. I aim to convey my message through the figures I create, allowing them to differ from standard appearances and proportions. In other words, my priority is the depth of my artwork rather than its surface aesthetics.

As someone who loves both visual art and music, I feel like we don’t see many artists who intertwine these two artforms together even though they go hand in hand. For example, album artwork is often made by someone separate from the musicians who make the music. Do you hope your work will encourage others to experiment more with visual art, music, and other art forms?

I really do. I hope that my work serves as an inspiration. Witnessing the enhancement of different art forms is truly exciting. While there are animators and video artists who have explored similar ideas, there are countless possibilities and avenues to explore. It’s worth noting that established actors performing music on large stages or talented musicians exhibiting amateur paintings in prestigious art galleries, while admirable, do not align with my vision. I hope to see younger generations and emerging artists naturally explore this interdisciplinary path and watch it flourish organically.

While I was not optimistic about witnessing major change [in Iran for] the foreseeable future, the Iranian uprising of the previous year marked a significant turning point. The younger generation fought vigorously for their rights in unprecedented ways, and now, amid all the adversity faced by Iran, there is newfound hope that has been absent for decades. I am optimistic that this hope will eventually translate into tangible change.

What kind of music do you like to play whilst working on your art? Do you play your own music or do you listen to other artists?

I often listen to others while working on my art. However, it depends on the project at hand. For my recent painting collections, I created paintings for each track on my latest music albums, with each artwork sharing a title with its corresponding song. During the conceptualization phase of these paintings, I listen to the specific song associated with the artwork to help me generate ideas. Once I’ve determined my creative direction and I am in the execution phase, I may also listen to music by other artists.

Your birth place isn’t accepting of the music you make, do you think we’ll see changes/progress for this any time soon?

Yes, unfortunately, the regime in my birthplace, Iran, has not been welcoming to the type of music I create. This was a primary reason for my relocation many years ago. While I was not optimistic about witnessing major change in the foreseeable future, the Iranian uprising of the previous year marked a significant turning point. The younger generation fought vigorously for their rights in unprecedented ways, and now, amid all the adversity faced by Iran, there is newfound hope that has been absent for decades. I am optimistic that this hope will eventually translate into tangible change.

What has been the most important lesson you have learned as a musician and visual artist?

The most crucial lesson I’ve learned is not to let the amount of recognition, whether positive or negative, define the value of my work. Feedback is invaluable, but even in situations where my work may not receive the exposure I believe it deserves, I remain passionate about what I do. I find happiness in doing work I love and finishing it, rather than looking for approval from others.

Who have you been listening to lately? Any good music recommendations for us to check out?

Apart from my usual list of progressive, technical, and death metal music, I have been listening to classical music lately. Composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff to name a few. It has helped me to stay focus while working on the artwork I’m working on currently.

We always love to hear about where artists make their magic! Can you tell our readers a bit about your art and music studio spaces?

My home studio, which I’ve designated in my bedroom, is of average size but highly efficient. I tend to maintain a minimalist approach, particularly since my music recording and post-production processes are primarily digital, skipping the need for large guitar amps. Additionally, I have been working in the digital format for my paintings for the past eight years, as a result these methods help me to get the best of my space, and not require a lot of equipment.

What’s next for you? Any exciting projects that you can tell our readers about?

I am currently creating a painting collection inspired by my latest music album, titled ‘Nine’. This collection represents some of the finest digital work I have produced thus far. Simultaneously, I am dedicating time to rehearsals for my next musical release. I’m juggling these projects while working my full-time job, so things might take a bit of time, but I’m steadily moving forward.

Farzad Golpayegani Social Media Accounts

Website | Instagram | X | Facebook | Spotify

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