In his paintings, Derakshani recalls forgotten tales and symbols of Iran’s cultural heritage, at a time where traditions and practices are under threat and often outlawed. Through a rich iconography drawing from medieval Persian poetry, classical literature, miniature painting, and sacred architectural sites laden with meaning, Derakshani’s work celebrates both ornamentation and color fields, as the artist finds a space for figural representation in abstract aesthetics.
This new series of work is all from his Day and Night and Fig Tree series, in which Derakshani explores opposing themes of the world. While aesthetically ornamented, the paintings express a duality of experiences and reflect the fullness and ambiguity of life. As an arts student of University of Tehran in the 1970s, he was able to access modern masterworks in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Now removed, works by masters of abstraction such as Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock greatly informed Derakshani’s practice.