Gallerist Q&A – Behzad Farazollahi

In this series, we talk to the founders and directors of leading galleries from across the Nordics about the personal stories behind them becoming gallerists, and the principles they work by. Meet Behzad Farazollahi, artist and co-founder of MELK.

Portrait of Behzad Farazollahi

Courtesy of MELK

How do you identify? What do you call yourself? (gallerist/dealer/other)

Director, Curator, and Artist.

What was the first show you made?

Our first show was with the Norwegian artist Morten Andenæs that we also have worked with in different constellations later as well.

Ingrid Eggen exhibiting as part of '0220: New Visions' at the Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media

Courtesy of MELK

Installation View, Marianne Bjørnmyr, Epitaph, 2022

Courtesy of MELK

Is there a young artist you have helped to achieve international recognition?

We have worked with Hilde Honerud, Ingrid Eeggen, Espen Gledistch, Erik Gustafsson, Morten Andenæs and several other young artists that now have been bought by museums around Scandinavia.

But it would be very exaggerated to say that they have achieved international recognition. But time will show.

Installation view of '0220: New Visions' at the Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media

Courtesy of MELK

Erik Gustafsson, Time Loop Rabbit Hole, installation view, 2022

Courtesy of MELK

David Risley is an artist. He ran David Risley Gallery, in London (2002-2010) and Copenhagen (2010-2018). He was founding Co-curator of Bloomberg Space, London (2002-2005), Co-founder of Zoo Art Fair, London (2004), and Co-founder and Co-owner of CHART. He continues to write, curate, and develop projects with artists. He is developing a sustainability project for public-facing institutions.

Behzad Farazollahi is a co-owner of MELK, alongside Christian Tunge. MELK is an artist-run initiative for new Scandinavian photography located in Oslo. The aim for the initiative is to raise awareness of the scene of contemporary photographers in the region and the position of the medium today, in a contemporary context.