A central figure in the Iranian art scene, Fereydoun Ave works with mixed media in a pop-influenced aesthetic rooted in traditional Middle Eastern ideologies. Ave worked as a stage designer and television set advisor prior to the Iranian Revolution, after which he focused his energies on his own art-making and founded 13 Vanak Street, the first alternative art space in Tehran. Ave’s work reflects and responds to sociopolitical events and changing global cultures, marked by an instinctive visual language and compulsive, Cy Twombly-inspired abstraction. Ave is best known for his depictions of macho-mystic Iranian hero Rostam, which explore masculinity and virtue in Iranian culture. Rostam in the Dead of Winter is the most pivotal of the series, placing the athletic Rostam on a white landscape background surrounded by Egyptian symbols of death and resurrection.