Nicky Torkzadeh’s Abstract Art Uplifts Nature’s Beauty and Makes a Statement

 Nicky Torkzadeh is an artist based in North Minneapolis, originally from Iran. 

As a kid, art was Torkzadeh’s primary interest and as she got older, she enrolled in art classes in Iran. In the U.S., she majored in architecture but later realized she didn’t want to pursue that art form. Instead, she worked in graphic design for ten years before focusing on two-dimensional art like paintings and collages. Even as an experienced artist, Torkzadeh still explores new approaches, like adding three-dimensional elements onto her paintings.

Torkzadeh often creates pieces highlighting fish, birds, and other animals. “My work is a reflection of what I see…I’ve always been one with nature,” she shared. However, her work also includes what she describes as magical and abstract elements. “My work is representational, but it’s not realistic,” Torkzadeh explained.

While she loves the work she’s created, Torkzadeh says she wants to create more art that makes a statement, even if it’s personal to her life experiences.

Her current work was displayed at the Iranian Art Exhibit last winter, including multiple pieces that highlight her memories from Iran, which she specifically created for the exhibit. For example, one painting included a bed in her grandma’s courtyard because Iranians sleep outside in the summer during very hot nights. Torkzadeh shared that another painting was about wishing for a change. Entitled “Yearning for Rain,” the art symbolizes the issue of climate change and ongoing droughts in Iran. 

Torkzadeh emphasizes that while traditional Iranian art is beautiful, Iranian art has evolved into more modern, thought-provoking pieces, which U.S. natives may not understand because of the lack of communication between the countries. “There’s a need to open [communication] channels to see what Iran is really like,” she voices. “I think there is a big longing for opening up the country to the west to share the art and culture.”

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