A few months ago I discovered a new painter from Iran at Carbon 12, an art gallery in the Al Quoz industrial area that is thé location for modern art in Dubai. Amir Khostasteh currently lives and works in Tehran, the capital of Iran, where he was born in 1988.

In his own words, he tries to express his emotions to show simple and daily but complicated events in a surreal way to involve (or unsettle) his audience just for a moment. He draws fantastic expressive pictures and grotesque portraits of iconic figures from the art world, music/pop culture or politics (some hilarious Trump bashing here too). Khojasteh plays with the idea of violence and power, dictatorship, and sacredness of fear, and represents it through fantasy, dark humor and vivid painterly impasto style.

The artist is mostly inspired by the political condition of the Middle East, specifically Iran, and happenings around the world which have a dramatic impact on people’s life.

“These paintings are mere faces – it’s the potency of the impression that lingers – so while we may gaze upon the faces of the feared, it is, in fact, us who hold the power and are the true fear-makers.”

Most of the pictures are famous (and dead) people like Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and so on. I forgot who the two twin black and white pictures were representing. It would be impressive if these were people from his local environment in Iran and not just Western artists and politicians.

Note: The artist recently confirmed that the two twin black and white pictures are indeed the past and now leaders of Iran – Khomeini and Ali Khamenei. Thank you Amir Khostasteh!

 This article shows a personal selection of interests (like Music, Art, Design, People, Technology, Ideas, Books etc) that inspire me.