Ali Shahbazi is a well known cultural figure, activist, artist, architect, and musician. His paintings and artworks cover a variety of subjects focusing on social and cultural issues, specifically women’s rights throughout Iran and Middle East.
Ali incorporates his vast experience of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern painting with new elements to create an artwork that tells timeless stories. Most of his paintings use a combination of oil and acrylic paint. He believes painting and architectural designs work together in order to produce a highly creative and yet pleasantly familiar work of art.
Having grown up the son of a famous Iranian art, Abbasali Shahbazi, his instinct for art became second nature. Being raised under the watchful eye of an Islamic government, Ali’s art became an artistic expression of not just one man, but of an entire nation struggling with cultural, political and religious identity. His brilliant and covert capacity to convey political, social and religious strife in Iran flourished. Ali’s paintings began to speak for those who could not.
Use of symbols in Ali’s paintings creates art-word, originating fundamentally in the crossing of two realities in today’s Iran: the one hoping to embrace modernism and growth and the one nostalgic for the shadow of the past. Often his paintings bring the viewer to a crossroads where voluntary or not, a deep soul-searching is provoked.
Much of Ali’s inspiration comes from seeing that which is often overlooked. “The familiarity of the work whether a painting or a design comes from nature and the ability to notice aspects of it that have not been appreciated.”
Two of Ali’s best-known works includes, ‘Beyond Borders‘ and ‘Behind The Mask of Fear’. They question the complicated relationship between contemporary Iranian society and its inherent traditional gender roles.
He considers each design unique and based on natural environment and space. It is because of this particularity that he believes a creative works cannot and should not be repeated