reza derakhshani

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

found out about reza derakhshani recently. listened to two of his albums and they were awesome. “ray of the wine” with john densmore, and “water from the well” with dawn buckholz avery.

a mix of classical/traditional persian and modern music. the albums have a lot of nostalgic folk music and sufi poems tailored fittingly to the modern music. reading his biography reveals how outstanding this artist is.

“painter, musician and performance artist reza derakshani was born in sangsar, a small village in the north east of iran. being brought up in a nomad family on the mountains had an enormous impact on his admiration for natural beauty and wonders of creation which is still very present in his work.

he started painting at the age of eight under the supervision of his eldest brother who was an art instructor. as a prodigy of art he won numerous national art competitions as well as the entry contest for the art school in tehran to enter the academic world.

derakshani’s years at the art school were prolific, but not only did the school open his eyes to the magnificent world of contemporary art, in addition it provided the opportunity to study music with masters and grand masters. these studies facilitated his desire to explore other forms of artistic expression.  music, by opening a door into the immense and mystical world of persian poetry, was to have a powerful influence on his painting eventually becoming such an integral part of his vision that he made it his second profession.

derakshani experienced his college years primarily as a battlefield on which to develop technical skills and enhance his wide-ranging intellectual curiosity.  in order to enrich his art he believed in pursuing a thorough grounding in many diverse art forms such as: graphic design, book illustration, film animation and calligraphy, as well as studies in traditional and western classical schools of art.  yet it is within contemporary painting that derakshani has experienced true liberation and fulfillment as an artist.  the challenging techniques and mental stimulation inherent in contemporary art have led him to create a meditative solitude that results in pure freedom of self-expression.  his work, known for being diverse and highly original, has achieved recognition mainly for its fearless exploration of form and style.

derakshani values what comes from the heart.  placing no limits on creativity, he is aware that iranian traditions and the long and complex history of the region are a vital part of his vision and are what ultimately determines his identity while being considered an international artist.

reza derakshani’s first solo show at the age of nineteen was held at the prominent ghandriz art gallery in tehran,  following this auspicious debut, he participated in many group and solo exhibits at other leading art galleries prior to his graduation in 1976 from the art school at teheran university.  that same year he left for the usa to pursue graduate studies at the pasadena art center in california.  on his return he taught art and graphic design at teheran university and the school of decorative arts.  although derakshani’s forced migration in 1983 put an end to his teaching career, it led to a period of intense and productive full time creativity that has continued unabated to this day.

after living in new york city for a number of years, he moved to italy in 2000.  yet two years later in his homeland – after the presentation of a major exhibit of paintings accompanied by a music performance – the overwhelmingly warm welcome and enthusiastic reception inspired him to return and create a new art base in teheran.

a vocalist, multi instrumentalist, composer and performer, derakshani’s musical adventure is not limited to giving concerts but it joins forces with his visual arts. very often in his opening nights music serves as a compliment to his art in a form of performance which is more like painting with sounds.

reza derakshani’s work has been exhibited and collected internationally. his recent projects include creating contemporary frescoes in a chapel in tuscany as well as a mansion in the center of london for british singer sting and his wife trudie styler.

derakshani has been featured in numerous radio and television shows and publications such as: abc tv, chicago tribune, los angeles times, l’unita, the juilliard music school paper, parisian, toronto star, new york artspeak, the montreal gazette, mirrob, tandis art magazine, herfe e honarmand, tamasha, farhang va zendegi, bonny film, shargh, hamshahri, yass and and etemad daily papers, corriere della sera, east hampton magazine, rai tv, wnyc, wkcr, wkut, wkpn, npr, voa, kpfk, bbc channel 4, fip and rfi of radio france.

derakshani’s career also includes a variety of collaborations with renowned international musicians, poets and dancers such as: john densmore of the doors, bill.t.jones, branford marsalis, colman barks, robert bly, deepack chopra, madonna, david darling, clara ponti, steve shehan, sussan deyhim, richard horowitz, dawn avery, athena andreadis, gabriel ross, jamshid shemirani, mario crispi, kursh kale, simone haggage, and saam schlaminger, to name but a few.

reza derakshani currently lives and works between tehran, usa and europe.”

urs aebi kunstgalerie

i really enjoyed it, hope you would too.

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