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Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)
Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)

Bloody Hunt

Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)
Bloody Hunt
signed with the Farsi initials, signed in Farsi and dated '2016' (on the reverse of each panel)
oil on canvas, in two parts
each: 72 x 48 in. (183 x 122 cm.)
overall: 72 x 96 in. (183 x 244 cm.)
Painted in 2016
The artist’s estate.
Sale room notice
Please note that this lot has been imported from outside the EU for Sale and placed under the temporary admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price.

Lot Essay

Painter, poet, musician, and performance artist, Reza Derakshani draws inspiration from his childhood spent at the top of the mountain in Sangsar where he was raised. Joining his musical talent with his passion for colours, he achieves an intrepid investigation of method and manner, as seen in this tapestry-like diptych entitled Bloody Hunt. With an explosion of red hues and hints of blues and pale yellows, Derakshani is depicting horsemen on a hunt by unifying aspects of abstraction and figuration, which he adapted from Western and Eastern cultures. With the combination of the two societies, he created an eccentric body of work that came about after his experimentation with pure abstraction. Reminiscent of the abundant artistic Iranian culture, he coats the surface of the canvas layer upon layer of oil paint to create an abstract landscape with a palpable motif of horse riding hunters.

Derakshani grew up surrounded by nature and horses, impacting the way he views natural splendor. Having received his first commission at the young age of nine and having his first solo show at the renowned Ghandriz Art Gallery in Tehran at the age of nineteen, Derakshani was considered a wunderkind. After graduating from the University of Tehran in 1976, Reza went on to study at the Pasadena School of Art in California. Upon finishing his degree in California, he returned to Tehran to teach at its University in the School of Decorative Arts. However his stay in Iran was short-lived as he left for New York in 1983 at the spring of the Islamic Revolution, where he found his permanent home for the next sixteen years before moving to Italy.

The first two years of his residence in New York, Derakshani was completely focused on his music, which he had only considered a hobby until then as he was alone with his instrument. However, he simultaneously began exploring the different aspects of Abstract Expressionism and ultimately began associating himself with the Neo- Expressionist style, which aided the revival of painting in the United States and Europe. Since then, he began evolving his style to likeness of the artistic circle he affiliated with, which included Shirin Neshat (b. 1957) and Cy Twombly (1928- 2011). With this came a new found sensibility towards his emigration to the United States and he began reconnecting with his Iranian roots whilst still incorporating contemporary styles. He found a reflective solitude in the liberty of self-expression intrinsic to contemporary art and eventually a way to combine his passion for music with that for painting: ‘Gradually, the music changed and found a new form, and painting looked back to the traditions, so they met halfway. It was more peaceful. Before that, I could feel the conflict between the two’ (Derakshani, R., Reza Derakshani, Far From Home, 2016).

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