Brief Review of Life & Works
Bahram Dabiri was born in the city of Shiraz, Iran in the year of the Tiger, 1950, under the sign of Sagittarius, whose symbol, the Centaur with bow and arrow figure greatly in his works. Looking at the reliefs and sculptures on the walls of nearby Persopolis and the splendid inscription of the Naqsheh Rustam Monument, are amongst the artist’s treasured childhood memories. At the age of twelve, without encouragement or tutelage but strictly on his own, Dabiri started his career in what he likes to call “The Paintings”.
In 1966, his family moved from Shiraz to Tehran, the capital of Iran, and one year later he held his first professional exhibition at the Sepid Gallery. In 1970 he was accepted into the Fine Arts Department of Tehran University, and received his undergraduate degree in painting some four years later. Meanwhile he met and married a fellow student, namely Simin Ekrami, who, apart from being a fine sculptress in her own right, gave him stability and security in his home life. Simin and Bahram have a daughter and son who are both at University.
Profile of the Painter’s Works
Upon close examination of Bahram Dabiri’s works to date, his mental and artistic vision can be divided into three more or less well defined periods.
1971-1978 First Period
These works start from his university days and continue for a few years thereafter. At university he was greatly influenced by the works of Bosch and Bruegel, the Elder. They are mostly romantic and surrealistic works paintings with vivid flash colorings, which, at one and the same time, reflect both his dreams and nightmares. The works contain lines and nude bodies, his two obsessions in this period, which kept him working night and day, for long and endless hours.
1979-1983 Second Period
This period coincides with the onset of revolution and turmoil in Iran. Greatly influenced by social emotions, he worked on ‘larger than life’ canvases, in an effort to try to capture the tremendous upheavals occurring around him in Iran. His canvases are full of historic and social messages addressed to the Iranian nation as a whole.
1984-Present Third Period
An energetic and endless quest to continually experience and experiment new materials and techniques, permeates this period. Dabiri finds his spiritual mentor in Pablo Picasso, who becomes his alter ego. The contents of the works include global mythology, elements of Persian historic and artistic heritage, and still-life studies. His quest for wider experience, led him to emulate and enhance the styles of the Shiraz and Manish schools of painting (two accepted methodologies of Iranian painting) in his recent works. During this era he has also turned his hand to the functional arts in an attempt to bring modern art into the ordinary peoples’ homes. His numerous works with ceramics, forged steel, wrought iron, felt and “Gabbeh” rugs, are all examples of this endeavor.