Fereydoun Ave was born in 1945 in Tehran and educated in a boarding school in England and the United States, where he studied applied art, theatre and film. Now he divides his time between Tehran, Paris and sometimes Dubai and Lon-don where he was involved in the Magic of Persia contemporary art prize, inspiring and supporting new generation of Iranian artists, among whom is the founder of Iranian contemporary pop, Farhad Moshiri. In 1984, he established Tehran’s first alternative art space on 13 Vanak Street.
His iconic Rostam series, which he started to work on in the late 1990s (“Rostam in Late Summer”, 1998 – 2000) and resumed in 2009 (“Rostam in the Dead of Winter”), are created as mixed-media collages. In his own words, he aims to use the “champion of champions”, i.e. national cult figure of Rostam to ‘locate the position of masculinity in the Ira-nian cultural context’. By doing this, he is exploring ‘the macho-mystic’ nature of this hero, and generally ‘the mystical side to chivalry in Iranian culture’, trying to combine the traditionally negative connotation of machismo with its mys-tic dimension, which he treats as positive.
His works are in the possession of important museums across the globe, such as The British Museum, La Caisse des Dépôt et Consignation, Paris, Tehran Contemporary Art Museum, and the Centre Georges Pompidou Collection. The most recent acquisition of his 'Rostam in the Dead of Winter’ was made by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Febru-ary 2014.
A close bond of friendship was formed between Ave and the American Artist Cy Twombly (1928 – 2011), who likewise moved between different worlds and cultures. Twombly, Ave himself recognised, was to become one of his most form-ative sources of inspiration, with Ave integrating Twombly-like, lyrical-abstract calligraphies into his assemblages and collages. In the process, he is interested in addressing issues of cultural stereotypes which, deeply rooted in Persian histo-ry and mythology, are still relevant to contemporary life in Iran (and beyond). Among Ave’s best-known works is the series named after the Ancient Persian hero Rostam, whom Ave presents in the shape of a typical, present-day wrestler, a figure held in high regard. Equally, his latest cycle of works Shah Abbas and his Page Boy concerns itself with Iranian concepts of masculinity. However, here the focus is more on the context of the gap between peoples’ private lives and their behavior in public, a feature still deeply entrenched in the collectively held cultural self-perception of Iran.
No exhibition at CAMA Gallery.
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