Azadeh Madani


I cannot write about Azadeh Madani as an outside observer, since I have known her as a schoolmate, friend, coworker, artist, lover, beloved, spouse, now ex-spouse, and always as a companion since 1999. I know her so well that I can say we raised one another; we have taught each other and learned together, and we have sought together the answers to many questions. Perhaps one of them was this very question of “how to flow.” A difficult, challenging, but intriguing path that we needed to take alone.

After years of companionship, it was hard to move forward separately. But we didn't need to be afraid, as fear kills enthusiasm. How could we remain companions without traveling the same path?

It was so difficult that each of us had to look for tools in order to be able to handle our loneliness, and to face the thousands of new questions and answers within us. I threw myself into stories; Azadeh threw herself into her notebooks. I know her mind very well. These miniature drawings, created by delicate tips of very fine pens during the last four difficult, painful, spirited, sensitive, magical, determined years that were full of experience, each took shape in her small notebooks over days, weeks, months, and are filled with concerns, questions, mental struggles, and the joy of self-discovery.

She knows how to neither pose questions nor supply answers in her work. Rather, she weaves her questions-- to both herself and the universe-- and what she discovers between these delicate lines, as carpet-weaving women do, though in improvisation. Actually, she does consider these works to be art. These are her own records.

She knows how, in her own way, to document herself, her inner reality. Rarely have I seen, in other pieces, the level of honesty that comes through in her works. Because I know very few artists these days who create from a point of inner enthusiasm and need, beyond the preoccupation of being an artist or creating art. But, between these lines, Azadeh began to flow more and more everyday; it could even be said that she found the answer to the “question.” These lines and drawings are the river, the water, the polished pebbles, and the river's bed, mouth and direction, of which Azadeh is the flow.

Farhad Fozouni