Persian Blues

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Persian Blues; AIM (Artificial Intelligence Montage), 18×24, Giclee prints in limited edition of 10.

Persian Blues is an homage to Persian music and in particular its unique characteristic of simultaneously expressing a somber and an ecstatic mood. 

Of all the different types of beauty, I am most fascinated by the variety that is found hidden within things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete; that lurks within the humble and mundane, making itself known in unconventional and unexpected contexts. We encounter this type of beauty nearly everyday in small and modest ways; it may be observed in the fading of a flower, in the color of an autumn leaf, in rusting metal or peeling paint. Or perhaps when we watch a sunset made more beautiful because of a thick layer of smog. Another example is perhaps when we listen to a piece of music that although sad and melancholic, is simultaneously uplifting and joyful.

There are a number of stylistic approaches in the visual arts, which tap into the depths of this particular aesthetic. One is the Japanese attitude of Wabi-sabi, the Italian Arte Povera is another, as well as the African American quilts from Gees Bend. They all start, with the mundane, and often incorporate tarnished or fragmented materials, which they proceed to transform into an aesthetic composition. What distinguishes these forms of art, is the fact that the finished work still shows traces of the rough, the imperfect, the improvisatory and thereby celebrates the anti-aesthetic as an aesthetic. The results are bitter sweet; reflecting a melancholy that is at once joyful and sad. 

Traditional Persian music too, reflects a similar attitude, in the sense that it often sounds sad and somber, and yet it also inspires a kind of ecstatic experience. I am also reminded of the American Blues, songs that are mostly about pain and suffering, but also quite magically manage to elevate the soul. 

My work has been deeply influenced by this particular universe of beauty, and I take delight in instances where I am able to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Persian Blues explores a visual territory that can be characterized as improvisatory, messy and earthy.  Although, the compositions inspire a sense of beauty, that is not based on order and perfection,  they still allow one to experience feelings fluctuating between, admiration, inspiration, awe and joy.