Beel in Farsi means a shovel and Zan, a woman. BeelZan means a laborer, one who carries a shovel and digs. Considering art the expression of pleasure in labor, I sign my paintings ‘BeelZan’.
The forms of existence in our time are very far from the humanistic ideas of individual and cultural development. The result is cultural and interpersonal amnesia, numbness and chaos. I believe art can help overcome this aggression and regression. A social being of an artistic state of mind, I feel I am a midwife giving birth to a painting that expresses a protest, a craving and hope for new forms of existence.
I was born a Jew in Tehran Iran. At seven, instructed by my father, a self proclaimed poet, I took my first painting class. The Islamic and Persian mysticism continue to intrigue my imagination and influence my imagery.
My development as an artist was profoundly transformed when I moved to Israel. Exposed to intense national, cultural and religious opposing forces, I found that artistic expression couldn't be confined and limited by any rules, influences, contexts and boundaries. I wanted my art to breath, digest, absorb and metabolize all. Formal art teaching, I believed, would thwart genuine and non-commercial artistic expression. I maintained the value of artwork within its socio-cultural context and dismissed the market and persona-resume context of the artist.
With a dual existence I strived to attain the freedom of expression I deeply needed when looking at the canvas to be worked on. While pursuing History and Classical Studies, I cherished the joy of freely and intuitively expressing myself in non-traditional art workshops and retreats focusing mainly on drawing and oil painting.
Once becoming a professional psychologist, I need not anymore art to make a living. I could paint to live and be alive in cultures that increasingly are governed by money and consumerism. I could use art for social action and help the unfortunate.
Working with people in counseling (co-founder of Footprint New Jersey Counseling Services) and learning at the time the revolutionary ideas of Freud, Jung, radical psychology and the Existentialists, I became enamored with the intimate-personal, intra-psychic and the symbolic.
Everything merged together when (1991) I moved to America. A complex integrative narrative began to emerge, intensifying and revolutionizing my artistic approach, expression and career.