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P. Archie Zan

(pronounced ‘par-chi-zan’) is an alias with its roots in the meaning of the word ‘partisan’. Archie believes that working under an alias gives him more freedom to create.
In his words: “art without a label is like a projection without a screen – it becomes limitless!”

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What ideas are you currently exploring?

Since the beginning of the pandemic and then confinement, I decided to chronicle my state of mind through self-portraits. The process itself became my therapist. The deeper I got into the isolation the more intense the paintings became. I would deconstruct my own figure and then re-construct it using my architectural background and influenced by my then current state of mind. Topics that I am addressing are anxiety, depression, vanity, mania, claustrophobia, uselessness, euphoria and all kinds of addictions.

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What inspired you to be an artist? When did you begin expressing yourself creatively?

Growing up in an ex-communist country allowed me to find my own creativity pretty early on as there was no expensive toys or fancy tv programs. Already as a kid I preferred my own company where I could build and destroy things found lying around the house or out on the street. Everyone went to Uni so when choosing one my first choice was fine art but it was simply too expensive. So instead I ended up studying architecture which was free for everyone as the country needed to be rebuild after the independence. Meeting a famous artist left me questioning architecture but as a true partisan I persisted and graduated. As an architect I worked on more artistic projects to do with interior design and visual installations. While visiting London for the first time I went to see the Francis Bacon's exhibition at The Tate gallery which changed my life forever. Upon my return I threw myself into art, spent 3 months in Italy learning how to paint and moved to Paris as many other artists have done before me. As a dare between friends I submitted a painting into the prestigious Le Salon Des Artistes Français at the Grand Palais in Paris, got accepted and the rest became a journey into exploration of what kind of artist I could be.