Sara Rahbar On The Transformative Power Of Art

Sara Rahbar On The Transformative Power Of Art

Originally born in Tehran, multi-media artist Sara Rahbar has spent the past 35 years in New York creating a body of work that is both physically and emotionally heavy.

Rahbar’s work spans a variety of media from thick military tarps to wood and cast bronze. Objects are sown, nailed, and soldered into emotionally charged works that are simultaneously sensitive and aggressive. Since the beginning, her artwork has been a means to express herself, catalyzed by a lifetime of social and political tensions.

Sara is presumably best known for her flag series. The collection, which spans from 2005 to 2015, consists of multimedia collages of American and Iranian flags. She primarily used traditional Iranian textiles and military paraphernalia in order to explore deeper concepts of nationalism and belonging. As the series progressed, her works got larger and bolder also taking on topics of democracy, capitalism, and religion.

Recently, Sara has stepped away from assembling found objects and has begun to cast her own body parts in bronze. Her willingness to explore the raw roots of her own emotions have pacified her more antagonistic artistic styles. Through this maturation she hopes to tackle the construct of the “Self” versus the “Other” and the universally complex impulses of human nature.


Studio Visit, Sara Rahbar. Photo: Tyler Milliner

Flag titled Land of Opportunity by Sara Rahbar

Land of Opportunity (2008)

Trespassers wooden sculpture by Sara Rahbar

Trespassers (2013)

Sculpture titled You gave me nothing, now its all I got by Sara Rahbar

You gave me nothing, now its all I got (2013)

Sculpture titled The Victor by Sara Rahbar

The Victor (2014)

While it would be easy to imagine Sara as a brooding artist based on the masculine, aggressive nature of her work, in reality she is a light and humorous woman that uses her work as a peaceful outlet. She is a true testament to the healing power of creativity and expression.

Sara currently has work exhibited at the Musee national d art moderne centre Pompidou in Paris, the Iranian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, and has an upcoming show at The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of BelgiumClick here to see the rest of her portfolio and follow her on social media for information on her upcoming shows.


Jenny is a writer, editor, and curator based out of New York (well, technically Brooklyn). She's spent the last decade working in everything from publishing to trend-forecasting in NY, LA, and abroad.