Reza Derakshani is painter, poet, musician and performance artist, born in Sangsar, Iran in 1952. One of the most celebrated painters of his generation, Derakshani has continually pushed the boundaries of what contemporary art is, or can be. He grew up in a great black tent on the top of a mountain, among horses and fields of blue and yellow wild flowers. Reza moved from the study of constellations of light made by moonlight shining through tiny holes in the tent to the study of mathematics in high school, and visual arts in Tehran and the U.S.
After immigrating to the USA (1983) as a result of the Islamic Revolution, Derakshani’s cosmopolitan identity led him to reflect on aspects of Western abstraction in his work. Abstract Expressionism in particular exerted a major influence on the artist’s work during a stay of several years in New York. There, Derakshani was in close contact with artists such as Francesco Clemente, and Cy Twombly. Through these and many other encounters, Derakshani integrates his examination of Western postmodernism into his paintings and, influenced by the poetry of Persian art, the figures of later Iranian narratives in Iran, as well as by the legends of the early period, he also incorporates elements of classical miniature painting and calligraphy into his work.
Reza Derakshani is known both in the Middle East and in the West as one of the most significant contemporary Iranian artists. His work features in many public art collections including The British Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art; The Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Russia and the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany. In addition, the artist has been the subject of two solo exhibitions in 2016 at The State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Russia and at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany. Derakshani also performed as a musician in numerous museums and festivals such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Montreux Jazz Festival among others.
He currently lives and works between Austin USA and Istanbul, Turkey.