Artist Bio: Hessam Abrishami
in the city of Shiraz, Iran, in 1951, Hessam was the
son of middle-class parents and one of eight brothers
and sisters. He attended public schools until his
graduation from high school, after which he served
in his country's military service for two years. It
was not until he was 15 years of age that, through
the inspiration and encouragement of a high school
teacher who was himself an artist, Hessam discovered
both his love of art and his talent for painting.
He soon became obsessed with painting.
his military service, Hessam decided to go to Italy-"the
center of art in Europe"-to study. He completed
a Master's Degree in Fine Arts at the Accademi De
Belle Arti "Pietro Vanucci" in Perugia.
Although he pursued his love of portraiture by concentrating
on realistic painting and special studies in anatomy,
he also developed his talent further by studying in
other styles-Impressionism, surrealism, Cubism, and
other modernist styles.
Hessam notes that he was influenced most by the artistic
atmosphere in Italy in general, saying "colors
were bright and the atmosphere was quiet and relaxed.
I didn't set out to use bright colors; they just came
out. This is important. I don't give any direction
to my paintings. Any colors I use just come from my
feelings. I don't think about bright colors or dark
colors or lines or anything. Whatever comes, that's
good enough for me."
His subsequent return to Iran had a profound effect
on his artwork. He found Iran in a state of revolution;
the social atmosphere was darker, activity more frenetic
and the general mood less relaxed. His resulting anger
was immediately seen in his paintings; they became
less realistic, their subjects darker with more overall
During this stay in Iran, Hessam collaborated with
a friend on a book of paintings and poetry titled
Screams. Its powerful religious and political overtones
proved to be unacceptable to the Iranian government
and Hessam soon left for Italy and, eventually, the
Hessam continues to expand his creativity, exploring
the fluidity of human figures. As the French press
has aptly stated, "He creates a tension between
each figure, a kinship of place or condition that
provokes the viewer to seek reasons for such relationships."