b. 1952, based in Austin, TX, USA and St. Petersburg, RU
In his large-scale paintings, renowned Iranian artist Reza Derakshani draws from the decorative style of traditional Persian art. Brought up in a nomadic family in the Iranian mountains, Derakshani explores the natural world in his work, as well as emotional states and themes of exile and alienation. He builds up the luminous, textured surfaces of his paintings with a base of roof tar, after which he applies layers of color and other materials such as gold, silver, enamel, and sand. Derakshani is also a musician, and the influences of music and poetry can be seen in the rhythmic harmonies that play out across his canvases, qualities that have prompted comparisons with the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.