The Shadi Ganz Method

Jackie Pinto | April 24, 2023 | Art

Shadi Ganz is a well renowned international artist with Persian ancestry who is trained in Art, Natural Sciences and Psychotherapy. She has travelled the world, lived in over five continents and along the way always created her own art while connecting with, and encouraging, local artists to reach their full potential. She is now based out of Germany, near Frankfurt where she regularly holds exhibitions and artist residencies at home.

I live in a suburb of Frankfurt on the river Main in Germany with my husband. After returning from India in 2020, we decided to establish a Centre for Art and Culture to share our unique space Das Herrenhaus with the art community,” she explains, adding, “We had a tough time as the Corona pandemic hit the whole world. We followed restrictions and rules during events, and limited our program to only four seasonal shows (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter). It was a way to present art and cultural highlights in a private, historical setting. We also offer an annual artist-in-residency program. The artists invited to live and work in our manor will finally present their works as highlights of our summer fest,” she explains.

Das Herrenhaus in Wickstadt, Hesse

Shadi literally inhales art in all its forms as she has a special gift called Synesthesia and a synesthete is one who is capable of  ‘coloured hearing or seeing’. Shadi was able to understand and channel her synesthesia through her large, vibrant canvases like the famous Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. 

Wassily Kandinsky, in particular helped me understand the nature of my paintings. We both have synesthesia, which means we actually see colour in music and rhythms.”

About her favourite medium, she says, “I am an abstract-contemporary, synesthetic artist, transferring music into visual art on canvas. I usually start with acrylic media because it dries fast, working layer by layer, sometime punching with fingers into the paint, spreading out the energy of colour onto the canvas all while feeling the vibration of music through my body – and at last finishing the painting with the determination of oil paint, which is calming and requires a lot of patience. I also use certain materials such as sand, soil, metal or gold dust alongside the colours that I experience while listening to music and rhythms. For instance Richard Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” brought to me an overwhelming riot of gold and silver.”

And like most artists, she finds inspiration in her environment. “A long time ago when I used to live in various countries in Africa, my paintings reflected African music and the ochre colours of sand dunes and lush greenery alongside wide river deltas. India also had a huge impact on my art with its meditative rhythms and ragas, and the colourful songs of life around the corner, tinged by sounds of rituals and mysticism.”

Shadi Ganz at a vernissage in Das Herrenhaus.

And late at night, when she is overloaded with the day’s sounds as well as her own day dreams and inspirations, is when she is at her creative best.

Art, she believes, can impact and appeal to widespread audiences, and artists can play a major role in stimulating and influencing political discussions on all kind of subjects – for instance, lockdown policies during Corona or the on-going Russian – Ukraine war. “Many European visual artists, writers and performers are appealing to politicians to re-consider positions, encouraging communication and peace,” she adds, explaining that art also helps her in other aspects of her life,

As a cognitive CBT psychotherapist and contemporary artist I am aware of the huge impact of psychology on my art and vice versa. Sometimes art can also play an important role in recovery or healing, sometimes my psychological skills allow me to understand and define the colours of my palette.”

Details of the artworks.

And how does she navigate the undercurrents of the professional art industry?

To be recognised as an artist is important, but this recognition should not be artificially manipulated by gallery owners and art dealers. Of course, art has also become an investment and follows rules of the markets, but art should not be the privilege of the richest people who own the world already,” she feels giving the example of German artist Gerhard Richter “whose artworks are shockingly overpriced nowadays, because of artificial manipulations – not by the artist – but by galleries and dealers connected to auctioneers.”

And speaking about art trends that inspire her current work, she describes herself as a contemporary artist inspired by music, installation and performance. “Right now I am diving in melancholia while working on the ‘Rilke Project’, entering the enigmatic musical world of Richard Schoenherz and Angelika Fleer, two widely recognised German composers who wrote music inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry, one of Germany’s most lyrically intense poets. Rilke’s poetry is both philosophically and psychologically intense, created more than 100 years ago, yet very modern and timeless, reconciling beauty and suffering. I am honoured to visualise Rilke’s lyrics and the inspiring music of these great artists in my abstract paintings. The vernissage of this work will take place in a solo exhibition in the summer of next year.”

Shadi with some guests at the vernissage.

Shadi admits that her style has gradually evolved over time. Always a rebellious child, she wanted to explore, escape boredom and live an adventurous life full of meaning.

“The process of change also happens when I allow chaos in my paintings, depending on the music I am listening to, breaking rules and going beyond borders and limitations. I don’t need any particular style to express my imagination which is fuelled by endless creativity. Creativity is bigger than any one style. I prefer an environment full of sound and dance as inspiration, light to bring meaningfulness, avoiding rage and toxicity, and keeping close to old and wise trees, which fill me with a sense of stability, strength and a desire to look up and around.”

Clearly loving what she is doing, and now back in her home country Germany, she is free to achieve her goals. “I love having a platform to promote artists, national and internationally, alongside my own art. Every artist that I present in my gallery is unique and my favourite in that uniqueness. I believe in them and they trust that they are not dealing with any gallery owner but meeting an artist who is sharing the same vision.”

Shadi Ganz.

Networking with other artists and providing a community of support is her hallmark. “My key to success is being surrounded by other artists and art lovers. I also have regular interactions and exchanges with them on various social media platforms. Our residency program also aims to improve and strengthen networking for artists.”

Her collectors are spread across the world and her artworks marked by her signature swirling hurricanes of shapes and colours have found homes in many different countries.

“Recently, a Swiss collector contacted me telling me that one of my paintings, which he bought in South Africa, is now hanging in his office in Thailand, and another collector wrote to me that my art provides inspiration and peace in dark moments in his life. I hope eventually to be remembered as an artist who had a positive impact on humanity, women’s health, environment and peace,” she concludes.


Words by Jackie Pinto.

Photographs by Andreas Lürding, courtesy of Shadi Ganz.

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