Author Archives: Shirzad

The Dawning Age of Reason

An explosion of light comes crackling through the branches as a trumpet Lilly heralds the dawning of a new age.  Below, crumbling idols are the vestiges of the old, and above, the trees’ vibrant greens are the fountains of the new.  Yet while the reason of the new age supersedes the superstition of the old, […]

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In the summer between my junior and senior year at college I had the easiest job I’ve ever had. I was the “Gallery Guard” at the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. My responsibilities included using a handheld clicker to count the number of visitors, and making sure that nobody touched any […]

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“Ultrasound” my latest painting, has been an exercise in channeling group creativity through my facebook page.  Almost every idea in it’s development was contributed by people through comments on photos of the unfinished canvas.  I often say that my best work is a result of happy accidents along the way – changes in direction that are inspired […]

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Art and Censorship: Paul Simon vs. Artists Against Apartheid

Under African Skies, Joe Berlinger’s documentary about the making of Paul Simon’s Graceland album, opened in New York and Los Angeles this week, and I was lucky enough to get to see it twice. The film is exhilarating and heartwarming as it explores the cultural phenomenon of one of the greatest albums ever made, and […]

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Playing by Ear / Playing by Heart

I was recently invited to join some incredibly talented artists and musicians at Conception III. Since it’s a group show, there’s limited wall space for my paintings and most of them won’t fit, so rather than just put one or two up, I decided to try to get some new, smaller works ready in time. […]

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Spanish Rose

Since my grandmother passed away recently, my folks have been clearing out her old apartment and finding closets full of art supplies – pristine boxes of oil paints, bundles of brushes, and a number of rolls of canvas. There were also two stretched canvases – I decided to tackle one of them while I was […]

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Red Waltz

Been having a bit of an obsession with red recently. After painting a wall in my apartment burgundy, I had a bunch of leftover paint, so that’s how I began this canvas. It’s a big one – 5 feet long, 4 feet high. It’s been a few years since I painted Sensuality and I’ve always […]

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The Quartet

The saxophone player and bassist in this painting emerged in a very rough form after a hurried improvisation, only to be abandoned for more than year. When I took it up again I had a very specific concept I wanted to get down on the canvas. “The Quartet” is an attempt to visually depict how […]

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Toccata is one of my earliest works, and also one of the largest canvases I have ever attempted. It was started and completed on a dreary winter Saturday in 1994 and hasn’t really been touched much since. While I love it conceptually, I’ve never been completely satisfied with the execution of it, and to be […]

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Chamber 51

Here’s a painting seventeen years in the making! I stretched the canvas myself in 1995 and created what could only be described as a juvenile homage to Dali’s landscapes. It really was quite awful and I only saved it because it seemed like a waste to throw away such a massive canvas. In the early […]

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