Born in Shiraz, Iran in 1970, Helen Zarin can remember beginning to paint at the early age of five. Showing talent, her family encouraged her to invest in her artistic endeavors. As a high school student, Zarin studied with the well-known Persian artist and teacher, Saber. She later enrolled in the Art and Culture Society, a national organization for gifted Persian artists. At university, she refined her skills in the various mediums, preferring to work mainly in pastels and oils. Since pursuing a professional career as an artist, Zarin has been recognized by the Iranian Society and earned many national awards for her works.
Conditions in her native country of Iran eventually compelled Zarin to turn elsewhere for creative nourishment. “Hard work and talent are not enough for an artist to progress and blossom, creative freedom in the right atmosphere is essential,” she has said. In the pursuit of this artistic autonomy, she journeyed first to Europe where she exhibited mainly around Vienna. In 1993, Zarin settled in the United States where she continues to study and work today.
Zarin’s technique of creating beautiful, colorful artworks with pastel is atypical. As she creates, her fixative becomes part of each piece, sealing the pastel at multiple phases along the way before the piece is complete. Her work with mixed media, oil and collage is sophisticated yet vibrant and playful. Figures are often minimalist and modest, yet alluring, with abstract backgrounds and still life elements. Always weaving a color-rich story, the work of Helen Zarin is both stimulating and pleasing to the eye.