These newest paintings for 2010 are political commentary on the state of freedom in Iran. I want to give a loud voice to the Green Opposition who have come together not only in the aftermath of a rigged election, but in the broader struggle for democracy in Iran.
The first in this series of paintings features Ayatollah Khamenei with a caption in Persian that says Bloodthirsty. Also, I don’t speak or write in Farsi and my calligraphy is limited to translated dictionaries. I have chosen all of the colors in this series to either mirror the Iranian flag, or more specifically, to highlight the Opposition’s color de guerre. The second in the series is another blood-soaked denouncement of Ahmadinejad’s election results. The script on this one is Thief. The third and final one is even more abstract in approach and is entitled Victory. This one had a working title akin to A Rose for Neda or something similar to that.
My interest in completing these works comes on the heels of the Iranian Revolution 30 years ago this February 11. All of this trouble that the Iranian people have been subjected to stems from a power struggle between the West and the Soviet Union, using Iran as a proxy. The Islamic Revolution and the butchers running Iran have become a reflection of what they hated so much in the West and the Peacock Throne. The Basij is the new Savak. Khamenei is the new Shah.
I find it ironic that for all of the bluster that Iran’s leaders say to the media and their countrymen, Iran will always be a paradox. Despite the unjustified beatings, forced moral codes, censorship, imprisonment, hangings, stonings and denunciations of Israel and the U.S., Iran is a blossom. Persia not only is a deep culture with thousands of years’ history and contributions to the world at large, it is one of a young, modern (and Western) alignment. Once these vultures in power are swept into history’s dustbin, Iranians will be free to produce even more art, music, film, and science. We look forward to it.
I also have created a series of t-shirts with some sloganeering in support of the Green Opposition, which you can find here.
Good luck Iran, the world is listening. And watching. Marg Bar Dictator.