Candle with still life by Sanam Khatibi

This scented candle with a still life as its backdrop was created by Parisian perfumer Quintessence Lab for the ‘Candle Up’ project. The still life that adorns both the candle and the packaging is the work of artist Sanam Khatibi.

During the Covid 19 pandemic, which raged fiercely in Belgium in 2020, the country went into lockdown for a time and precautionary measures were declared to prevent the further spread of the virus. The cultural sector suffered greatly from this pandemic.

Several initiatives were established to support the ailing sector, such as the non-profit organization, Feed the Culture. The ‘Candle Up’ project aimed to support this non-profit organization and sold three scented candles designed by three artists: Pieter Vermeersch, Lionel Estève and Sanam Khatibi. The profits from this sale went entirely to the non-profit organization.

The Artist
Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979) is an Iranian-Belgian artist, living and working in Brussels. Her work includes paintings, embroideries, tapestries, sculptures and installations.

She plays with contradictions to juxtapose dualities such as animal versus man, past versus present and cruelty versus temptation. Wildlife and animals are an integral part of her work, and her subjects are often depicted in the same plane as the fauna and flora.

The design of the candle is refined with one of her Vanitas series. The complete series of 21 miniatures inspired by the Golden Age of the Flemish Grandmasters was presented in 2020 during the exhibition ‘Cyanide’ at Gallery Rodolphe Janssen.

Why did we include this work in our collections?
• This work is a testimony to the crisis that held our country and city firmly in its grip.
• It is a show of support for the cultural sector that was hit hard by the pandemic.
• The museum chose the work of the only female artist (among the 3 selected) to further expand the number of works by female artists in its collection.

Would you like to know more about this acquisition? You can find more details about the work itself in the inventory sheet here available.

Candle with still life by Sanam Khatibi, 2020 ©Brussels City Museum