Kamyar Bineshtarigh was born in the small town of Semnan, about 200 km east of Tehran in Iran, in 1996, and moved to South Africa with his family when he was 15. Based in Cape Town, he works in a variety of media. His conceptual concerns range from language and communication in all its forms, to the movement, migration, and displacement of humankind.
In 2019, Bineshtarigh graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town, where he received the Ruth Prowse Award for his series An Exhaustive Catalogue of Texts Dealing with the Orient. In 2021, he was awarded the Simon Gerson Prize for his graduate exhibition at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, as well as a Creative Knowledge Resources Fellowship from the National Research Foundation and UCT. He was awarded the VAA award by ARP Residency in 2018, which led to his video work Shelter being screened at the Corto Lovere Film Festival in Lovere, Italy.
The artist’s interest in text, particularly Arabic script and calligraphy, has become an explorative means to study the nature of mark-making and the cultural complexities that often arise through translation. Script carries our collectively imposed meaning but also a multitude of intuitive translations, as well as an innate aesthetic of form and shape. This is embodied through the additive act of layering in Bineshtarigh’s works, with the artist utilising canvas, ink, pencil, shards of glass, glue, or layers of paint extracted from the very walls of his studio. Bineshtarigh frequently works on an immersive scale, creating site-specific installations that are arresting in their capacity to envelope the viewer.
Bineshtarigh’s most recent solo exhibition, 9 Hopkins, opened at Southern Guild in August 2023. Other solo exhibitions include koples boek(e) at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg (2021), Pilgrim as part of Everard Read’s Cubicle Series (2019), and Uncover at Norval Foundation (2022), which named him the inaugural winner of the Bowmans Young Artists Award.
Southern Guild has presented his work at The Armory Show (2023), Expo Chicago (2023) and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (2023). He has participated in group exhibitions at galleries including Stevenson, SMAC, Everard Read, Association of Visual Arts, and the NIROX Foundation, and is currently pursuing an honours degree in contemporary art at Cape Town Creative Academy.