Kamrooz Aram fuses the decorative elements of Persian carpets and miniatures with Western modernism in paintings that borrow from a wide range of sources. “I’m interested in what makes something Eastern, what makes something exotic,” Aram has said. Born in Iran and raised there until the age of 8, when his family moved to the United States, Aram was heavily influenced by Edward Said’s seminal book Orientalism (1978) and by the Iranian revolution. His mixed-media collages and paintings are populated with his own stylized vocabulary of floral motifs, starbursts, geometry, and religious and nationalistic iconography: hawks, angels, and imams. In Aram’s compositions, Eastern and Western art histories butt up against one another, challenging traditional preconceptions and proposing new relationships. In his work the artist makes reference to the works of the iconic post-war American artists Cy Twombly and Frank Stella. Aram is also a recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize.