Located in the downtown Los Angeles arts district, Haleh Mashian’s Gallery, MASH, has become a mecca for artistic souls fostering creativity in their community! Mashian founded her thriving space in 2019; MASH has since made a name for itself through impressive showcases and exhibitions featuring compelling contemporary artists’ work.
Throughout the challenges of a global pandemic, MASH Gallery featured over 30 local artists in outdoor shows and modified spaces. Now MASH is rounding out another successful and inspiring year with an exhibit from Mashian herself.
“As an artist, I know how important it is to experience art in real life and the power it has to connect people.” Mashian states.
After a gloomy year, Mashian’s SACRED WATERS is the uplifting influence the world needs at this moment. She comments on her motivations for creating her stunning works, “It’s all about self-expression while being authentic. The more creative and expressive you are, the more intelligent you become, and that’s what art is: creativity, expression, and intelligence. Manifesting something that was not there before, bringing it to life, and creating something out of nothing.”
Mashian was not always able to express herself through works such as the SACRED WATERS collection. Mashian was born in Tehran, Iran, and spent her teenage years in the grip of the Iranian Revolution. At only twenty, she fled Iran with her younger brother; the two were eventually granted religious asylum in the United States. It was in the States that Mashian was able to regain her safety and pursue her passions. She credits Dr. Michael Gottlieb, her spiritual master teacher, as having the most impact on her art, creativity, and life.
Mashian’s journey to becoming the creative she is today was one that reads like an epic saga; she says, “going through the revolution, war, persecution, and like many other people, personal challenges, I realized you are the cause of your own life. If you succumb to your surrounding circumstances, you cannot experience your inherent power, joy, and ecstasy. In the end, you have the power to create your life, constantly.”
From collage to impasto, Mashian pours her heart and soul into every piece she brings into the world. Through her work, Mashian explores the relationships of color, space, and energy. In her latest collection, Mashian has again turned to the natural world for her inspiration. This time, she dives into the oceans, bringing onlookers with her through crashing waves. SACRED WATERS offers an immersive experience where paint, palette, and materials embody the liquid properties of water.
“I tapped into the energy of water—constantly creating, destroying and also preserving. I felt the ebb and flow in my approach to doing these series, with a very fierce calm energy.” Mashian muses, “water is never stuck. When the weather is cold, water changes to ice, with heat comes it becomes vapor. When something is in its path, water goes around it or waits patiently till it gathers enough force to conquer its obstacle.”
Mirroring her own story of resilience and metamorphosis, SACRED WATERS floats viewers through an expansiveness, inviting reflection of the ups and downs in our own lives. Mashian connects the adaptability of water as the key to maintaining our composure and equilibrium given the long pandemic and the state of the world.
“Water knows intuitively when to take a stance and when to let go—a feminine quality,” Mashian adds. “SACRED WATERS is the visual representation of my flotation journey to a state of creative release.”
SACRED WATERS is collaborating with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in an effort to raise funds for St. Jude’s mission. As a result, 20% of Mashian’s latest show proceeds will go towards St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!