Reza Derakhshani’s Every Day & Every Night.


LONDON - He is tall, dark and handsome. He is one of Iran’s best-selling artists. He is a musician and a poet. If you haven’t figured out who I’m talking about you are behind the times.

Reza Derakhshani is a man of many talents, added to which he is beloved by all who come to know him well. I say this not as a friend but as someone who has witnessed at first hand the evolution of Iran’s modernist era and the unassailable place that Reza has taken in the pantheon of its enduring artists.


Reza Derakhshani’s Peacock Throne.

Reza’s pleasing, Richter-like canvases have long been favourites in the auction world, and over the years he has produced many aesthetic series of paintings with a colorist sensitivity that rivals the best in the genre. A catalogue raisonné published in 2009 by Patrick Cramer highlighted this body of work, and to many the question was: “What next?”

The answer is about to be revealed in March 2013 at the time of ArtDubai when SPM will show a retrospective that will refer to certain discontinued yet resurrected series of the past. Additionally there will be at least one installation, some fresh new large-scale works, a carpet design and a sculpture or two. And what of the Sand paintings? These are a dark side of this artist’s generally gentle and colourful disposition; he says there is always a reason for his choice of materials and colour scheme and we can only hazard a guess as to why a man who now lives in two of the world’s sunniest climes – Austin, Texas and Dubai – should delve into the depths of a monochrome universe.

Reza Derakhshani’s Mentality.

Reza assures me that the dark phase is not a permanent one and that he has delved into this several times in the past. Abstract skull shapes replacing leaves and figs signify an end, but transition to the beginning of another evolution. It comes as no surprise that some of the imagery relating to death tie in with the artist’s perception of the demise of a culture where there is no breathing room for an ancient civilization and the proverbial ‘Persian pride.’

For all of us booking now for ArtDubai, here is yet another reason to go!