Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Amazonian Indians

This is Penthesilia the first of many paintings I will be doing addressing the fate of the Amazonian Indians.  The girl's tribe is the Karajá and like many of the indigenous peoples of Amazonia their livelihood is in danger.  Her home is burned by cattle farmers who would see the rainforest in ashes for a cow.  But there is another enemy that could prove more destructive.  It is the large South American engineering company Electronorte, which has made plans to create a dam that would place her territory under 40 feet of water.
The Karajá do not paint lightning bolts on their face.  I adapted the symbols on her cheeks to mimic the logo of Electronorte (  She is marked for extinction.  The goal of this piece was to express as strongly as possible the feeling of sadness and anger that one feels when their home and traditional way of life is taken from them by a distant economic machine.  I've seen artists who wear a similar expression.  16x20 acrylic on linen.

Legba and Adjessi

24x48, oil and acrylic on canvas.  This is a piece I created for my friend Lisa Kang over the course of last year.  The left half of this painting is derived from a sketch I made at her house of some potted plants.  The colorful area toward the center hides an abstracted version of the Haitian voodoo symbol for Papa Legba.  Legba is perhaps the most important voodoo god because he must be acknowledged first at ceremonies.  He is the operator that must be called before conversations with other gods can occur.  He is the cross road between mortals and deities.
Legba's wife is much more obscure and secretive in nature.  Her name is Adjessi and I know almost nothing about her except that she often stands at his side and helps support Legba who hobbles with a walking stick.  This piece marks the beginning of a trend in my work I plainly call Hipster Tribalism.  More to come...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Pomegranate Tree

This is a painting I made for Aunt Leslie, my best friend Adam Petty's aunt.  There is a pomegranate in this picture because that is my favorite food and I'm Iranian.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Pomegranate is my favorite treat.  This is all about boasting that I can render.  The void on the right represents how this piece is void of deeper meaning.    

Friday, September 6, 2013

The World Turtle

I heard an old chinese myth that the world sat on a turtle's back.  I also heard about an eight fold path.
 I love yellow tail and shrimp.  There is a disappearing blue fin tuna.  It is hard to see.
 The Blue Crab spawns, but will it be enough for my crab feast.
Don't get a bite from a coral snake.  Red touches black, friend of Jack.  Red touches yellow, kill a fellow.

The Anhinga (dedicated to my father)

This bird is catching a great fish.  It's tail is the symbol of the Maserati a sports car that borrows its insignia from the Trident of Poseidon.  I chose the Anhinga to represent my father because of its fan shaped tail.  The upwards facing triangles represent masculinity.  The clock which is breaking the neck of this bird represent hard work and long hours.  The ginkgo leaves represent wisdom, because I heard ginkgo leaves help your memory.

The White Crane (dedicated to my mother)

My mother loves flowers.  Particularly blue hydrangeas.  The eight fire flies represent guardian angels.  The moon, or circle is squared to represent the spiritual.  There is are downwards facing triangles and they represents femininity. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


secretly the best portrait i've ever done

Hamid's Family

This is a family portrait rife with nostalgia.  The central figure is Hamid, my cousin and the patron of this piece.  He is now in his thirties living in America, but when he was young and in Iran his fondest childhood memories were on the road with his family.  We see Mom, Dad, Hamid, his Brother, Grandmother in the backseat and Hamid's pet chicken.  The chicken traveled with them.  This piece is based on a series of snapshots from the late 70's to early 80's.