This week’s cover artist, Kiamarz “Kia” Eshghi, has spent more than six decades working as an artist and musician in Iran and the United States.
Raised in the city of Tehran with advanced training in classical and miniature Persian art, as well as classical Persian zarb drum, Eshghi’s painting and percussion skills were exhibited right out of high school – in art exhibitions local, on stage, on radio and television. He also broke into theater and set design through his ties to the government art institute Honarhaye Ziba where he had trained. At 25, he and his wife Pouran left Iran for the United States.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s he exhibited his paintings throughout New York City, including his own Bond Street gallery, and he was even invited by Columbia University’s Iran Center to participate in an exhibition celebrating talented Iranian artists. One of his proudest exhibits was a solo show of his most vibrant pieces that took place at the renowned Queens Museum of Art. His paintings have also become popular with architects and interior designers who often incorporate them into their chic designs.
Throughout this period, Eshghi also continued to hone his drumming skills, earning him several performances at Carnegie Hall, New York University and other prestigious venues. In addition to his painting and percussion accolades, he and Pouran are also well known as the former owners of The Big Duck in Flanders and as those who donated the iconic structure to County Suffolk. Today, successful New York business owners own a beautiful home in Hampton Bays.
Here, Eshghi discusses this week’s cover art: “Vision # 1”.
What is the story behind “Vision 1? “
(There was a time) when this style didn’t exist, and I brought it to my canvas, calling it “organic abstract”. That’s when we gave my technique a name, and everyone was happy and liked. … Every five to ten years I try to move on and do something new, and most of the things that were done back then, in the ’80s and’ 90s, were organic abstract. The color was mostly done in ink, dye and mixed media – it’s all on canvas.
It’s easy to watch and create your own version of the story in the painting. You can still look and draw some more out of this painting. … It is a technique that I have never seen before as an artist. I look at a lot of books and artwork, but there is nothing there that matches the systematic work that I put through my brush on my canvas. The word “unique” is probably appropriate.
How do your paintings intervene in your own story?
Each piece has a story on its own shoulders, and each piece brings a good part of my life, showing how my life started with art. And the music has a lot to do with it because I’m a drummer, which a lot of people don’t know. We took the drums, the Persian drums, to this situation where we were invited to do songs at Carnegie Hall. I’ve performed like three or four times at Carnegie Hall, and for one or two of them, I wasn’t just a musician, I also worked as a production manager. I had created this show. It’s a kind of mix and match in the mind of a musician who paints and a painter who draws and
What makes this piece the perfect fit for a Dan’s Papers blanket?
I think all my pieces are nice for a Dan’s blanket! When Vicki (Schneps-Yunis) took this one, I said, “Fantastic! It’s a great song. But to be honest, all the parts that I have in my inventory and the things that I’ve been doing lately are all related. … My works are creative works, and sometimes they are one. And I can see other images, like “Vision # 1”, I can see it in “Blue Harmony”. They might be separated by the coloring I made, but originally they are based on the same creative designs.
What do you find most gratifying or rewarding about creating these unique works of art?
I love when each song comes to the end. I work and I seek, I work and I seek, and I find ideas that I may be satisfied with. Even if I don’t, little by little I get used to new types of work. My work with the canvas is very much about the relationship between me and my work. … I can’t talk too much about the pieces individually, but in the group work you can see that it’s really satisfying.