Kamrooz Aram’s art practice investigates cultural polarities between East and West, and between antiquity and modernity. This untitled work is part of a wider series, “Ancient Through Modern,” which juxtaposes two opposing artistic idols in our culture. On the one hand, we admire the clean lines and geometry of European modernism. On the other, we enshrine the ornate relics of the ancient past. Aram’s work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Sender Collection, New York; the Salsali Private Art Museum, Dubai; and the Deutsche Bank Collection, London.
About Kamrooz Aram
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.
Iranian, b. 1978, Shiraz, Iran, based in Brooklyn, New York