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  • Nat Frogley


Visionary master artist's island-born, sustainably created series of ‘Living Paintings’ is a clarion call for enhanced connection and a reassessment of the art industry's footprint

The latest visionary artist to complete a residency at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, master painter Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar is set to unveil Life Energy - a new body of miniature ‘Living Paintings’ created during his time in the resort’s creatively fertile Fari Art Atelier. The series will be showcased at private gatherings in Doha and London over the coming months, culminating in an exhibition and art sale at Patina Maldives in July - with sales proceeds donated to funding local marine conservation.

Life Energy is the third major chapter of Pathways, a distinguished event series at Patina Maldives designed to stimulate enduring personal transformations, introduce New Life Habits, and inspire creativity, growth, rest and connection in guests’ lives. The series debuted last year with Experience as Healing, an event bringing together wellness, ancient spiritual practices and the frontier of biohacking to inspire guests; and Cosmopolitan Ocean, an immersive festival and collaboration with West Coast fashion label STAMPD that redefined the ocean as a cross-cultural nexus for human connection.


Merging artistry with sustainability and meditation in search of a deep connection with nature and a true understanding of energy and human evolution, French-Iranian artist Behnam-Bakhtiar’s creative practice has gone through a transformation over the past few years. Committed to the preservation of the planet, Sassan now predominantly uses natural pigments sourced mainly from minerals, wood, roots, flowers, rocks and soil, while the wood and linen used for his chassis are sustainably sourced and naturally treated - a true commitment to creating art in harmony with nature, and a first for any contemporary artist painter today.

Sassan’s recent Fari Art Atelier residency focused on sustainable creation and honouring nature. Inspired by the old masters’ traditional use of natural pigments, the resulting series of 20cm x 20cm miniature ‘Living Paintings’ was created using sustainably sourced and natural materials, including ground washed out shells and corals gathered from around the island - a reminder to the art world of a necessary alternative method to creating meaningful art.


As Life Energy returns to its origins at Patina Maldives in July, a select panel of key speakers and leaders from the contemporary art and sustainable development worlds will gather to open an exclusive exhibition and art sale - with 50 percent of the proceeds donated to a local marine conservation NGO to fund research on how better to protect reefs and expand coral restoration efforts. The event will also include the unveiling of a large scale, site-specific ‘Living Painting’, created behind closed doors in Sassan’s Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat atelier, as the latest addition to Patina Maldives’ permanent art collection - joining the likes of James Turrell, Jose Dávila, Cassio Vasconcellos, Hongjie Yang, Hiroko Takeda, and FAHR 021.3. 

“This new series focuses on enhancing the connection with the Self, mind, body and soul, and bringing our energies, consciousness and life perspectives together as one – a true step towards a necessary human evolution, and a shared core value between Patina’s ideology and the philosophy behind my own creative practice.


Life energy is the secret behind human health. Only by feeling the energy are we able to understand the connection between our mind, body and the importance of living in harmony with nature. When I paint using only natural and sustainably sourced material from our planet, my soul feels truly alive and connected. As beings living in a modern yet destructive world, we cannot hope to create a sustainable culture for the next generation without a shift in our approach. Without this necessary change, we continue to destabilise the planetary system we rely on as human beings. The damage to our blue home mirrors that in our societies. As a creative individual, it is my duty today to push forth via my work the understanding that humanity, nature, and progress should and can coexist together.”

- Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar


Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit or contact


For more information on Pathways, please see here.




Patina Maldives, Fari Islands is the inaugural flagship property from sophisticated new lifestyle brand Patina Hotels & Resorts, the latest hospitality concept by Capella Hotel Group. Designed by renowned Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, Patina Maldives offers 90 contemporary one- to three-bedroom Beach and Water Pool Villas, alongside 20 Fari Studios, all of which embody a harmony of sanctuary and stimulation. Set in the Fari Islands archipelago in North Malé Atoll, guests can immerse themselves in a new expression of island life through thoughtful tailor-made wellness journeys, interactive music programmes, captivating culinary experiences, and bask in the light-filled Amarta, a James Turrell Skyspace pavilion — all while embracing the vibrant social scene that emanates from the destination’s communal heart: the Fari Marina Village and Fari Beach Club.



Patina Hotels & Resorts is the latest hospitality concept from Capella Hotel Group. Born out of guests’ desire to honour individuality, Patina appeals to a new generation of travellers who seek deeper connections with themselves and the world around them. The human-centred design flows with the natural modes people are in, gently and intuitively providing for each guest’s individual needs, ensuring that no two stays are exactly the same. A five-star, sophisticated lifestyle brand, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands was the first launch, with further properties in Osaka and Sanya also in development. Patina Hotels & Resorts is a member partner of DISCOVERY, a multi-brand loyalty programme representing a collection of 40 independent hotel brands over 100 countries worldwide.



Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar is a French – Iranian artist based in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, in the South of France. Born in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-Sur-Seine in 1984, he lived in Tehran, Iran as a teenager and young adult. Many of his works are well-known for exploring his visionary and philosophical views on life and humanity, derived from the artist’s personal life experience of post-revolution Iran, including the Iran-Iraq war, a traumatic period in the history of the country; and his subsequent reflections on these experiences while living in France and elsewhere.

Behnam-Bakhtiar’s Living Paintings are created in his renowned signature style of peinture raclée involving an intricate style of scraping, relaying and spreading of numerous blends over particular points. For the artist, these represent layers of energy, feelings and time. He paints from one layer to another for several months to years to create his complex works referencing to a prosperous way of life, human evolution, the universal language, eternal feelings and Self, history, present and future, awakening a strong sense of experiencing positive emotions and transcendence, while accessing its audience’s psyche to bring about locked knowledge, intuition and human sensitivity.

Sassan’s paintings have been shown worldwide including solo exhibitions at Phillips London, Sotheby’s in the Principality of Monaco, Dusseldorf’s Setareh Gallery, London’s Saatchi Gallery and at the historic Villa Santo Sospir in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

For further press information and images, please contact: Dara Soeharto (, Leanne Barton (, Nat Frogley ( or Flora Gandolfo ( at Frog & Wolf PR.  

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