Ali Shahbazi is a well known cultural figure, activist, artist, and architect. His paintings cover a variety of subjects focusing on social and cultural issues, specifically women’s rights throughout Iran and the Middle East.
Ali incorporates his vast experience of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern painting with new elements to create an artwork that tells timeless stories. Most of his paintings use a combination of oil and acrylic paints. He believes painting and architectural designs work together to produce a highly creative and yet pleasantly familiar work of art.
Use of symbols in Ali’s paintings creates artworks in the crossing of two realities in today’s Iran: the one hoping to embrace modernism and growth and the one nostalgic for the show of the past. Often his paintings bring the viewer to the crossroads where voluntary or not, a deep soul searching is provoked.
The familiarity of the work whether a painting or a design comes from nature and the ability to notice aspects of it that have not been appreciated.
Much of Ali’s inspiration comes from seeing that which is often overlooked. Ali considers each design unique and based on natural environment and space. It is because of this particularity that he believes a creative work cannot and should not be repeated.
Two of Ali’s best-known works include, “Beyond Borders” and “Behind the Mask of Fear”. They question the complicated relationship between contemporary Iranian society and its inherent traditional gender roles.