Farnaz Zabetian


Farnaz Zabetian was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She started painting when she was ten years old. Zabetian received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art and Architecture University, Tehran, Iran, in 1998. For the ten years prior to her immigration to the United States, she taught art history, illustration, and painting at several art universities in Iran. Her work has been cited in art magazines and reported on in outlets such as the BBC, Kayhan London, publications in Iran accepted to the Society of Iranian Painters, and more. Zabetian has had more than fifteen solo shows and nine group exhibits in different places around the world, including the Sondouzi Art Museum of Tehran in 2008; the Saad Abad Museum of Tehran in 2009; and the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame on 2017.

Zabetian’s paintings are a manifestation of her attention to the events of daily life. Her subjects are usually maltreated women, particularly from her part of the world. Her women are a perpetuation of the old and deep tumors that have been engrained in Eastern women like herself, women who since birth are in a struggle with social taboos, so much so that they do not know how to act without them. They are always attempting to display a strong and stable self, despite all that has been predetermined for them. They put up with the erosion of their soul and wear masks so that their fragility does not become apparent. Zabetian’s paintings depict women who have silently pulled these masks off their faces, baring all of their complexities and untold secrets. Her symbolic and expressive portraits of these women depict their private thoughts and yearnings to expose their wounded souls. The fishes and the crows in her paintings, for example, are metaphoric displays of the fertility of Eastern women and the chaotic side of their lives.

In her most recent works, she is focusing on the influence of technology in people’s behavior, using art to show/examine the unwanted changes in personal communications following the introduction and spread of social media.

She currently resides and paints in the San Francisco Bay Area.