Romisa Sakaki

by Open Walls on
  • Romisa Sakaki - Selfies in the City, 2016


Romisa’s demeanour is extremely refined. She is fashion forward, wears silk shirts in bright colours and has a mane of well-kept peroxide blond hair. She speaks in a precise, to the point, filter-free way. She leaves fluff and unnecessaries at the door. She certainly doesn’t fall into the Boho artists stereotype. It is no surprise that her work is also beautifully clean, intense and to the point.

Her last series, Grasslands, started with an attempt to move her focus away from incidents which disturbed her, towards happiness. Friends, picnics, the urban outdoors. She began to study the impressionists, masters in painting the good times with their dancers, Parisian saloons, walks in the park. The result is a reinterpretation of George Seurat’s sunday in the park in the context of I.R. of Iran. Her sharp eye catches it all.

In 2011, she painted an untitled series of portraits. They are small. In fact, the size of a family picture you may frame and place on the bed-side table. The usual birthday parties of a loved one, couples, dear friends. Except considering the context these portraits are painted in, they are all but conventional. In this series, Romisa with a strong dose of irony, questions tradition versus reality.

In 2009, Romisa came together with a group of friends to create a group exhibition reflecting their experiences following the post-election uprisings. Once more, Romisa turns such a messy historical event into clear fresh beautiful artwork in a series titled Find Answers on the Street.

Colour plays a huge part in her technique. In Grasslands, she uses almost fluorescent colours to express unease, her figures are outlined in red. This renders them very tense. No soft shadow work here. But the demonstrators of Find Answers on the Street are embedded in a golden world. They throw chairs and molotov cocktails in a city which appears to be bathed in gold. Otherworldly, ethereal, pure. A reflection of how they feel about the city they hold dear and want to protect but also a reflection of what they believe their world could be.

Words: Mahsa Mergenthaler-Shamsaei – #YPA Young Persian Artists

Selected exhibitions

  • 2015 · Aran Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2015 · #YPA Young Persian Artists · Group Show · Berlin (Germany)
  • 2015 · Niavaran Cultural Centre · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2014 · Shirin Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2012 · Mohsen Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2011 · Mohsen Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2011 · Azad Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2010 · Vienna Art Week · Vienna (Austria)
  • 2010 · Dar-al-fonoon Art Gallery · Kuwait (Kuwait)
  • 2010 · Azad Art Gallery · Tehran (Iran)
  • 2010 · Mohsen Art Gallery·  Tehran (Iran)

Selected publications