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24 September 2014

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Painting by Masoud Babakhani
Painting by Masoud Babakhani

Art on the edge

City Art Gallery are exhibiting stunning work by Iranian artist and asylum seeker Masoud Babakhani.

Click the link on the right to view a gallery of Masoud's paintings >>>

Painting by Masoud Babakhani
Painting by Masoud Babakhani

Masoud Babakhani, aged 34, whose art was deemed inappropriate by authorities back home, left his family in Iran to pursue his painting, but since arriving in Britain four and a half years ago, the refugee artist has been cleaning floors to survive, following repeated rejections from mainstream galleries in London and the West Midlands.

His work is an exciting blend of figurative and floral splendour taking inspiration from twentieth century figurative painters such as John Singer Sergent.

Edward Joy, City Art’s managing director said: "Talented, new artists are flocking to Birmingham all the time.  However, once they get here, despite interesting personal stories, bags of enthusiasm and a genuine love for their craft, they find themselves hitting a brick wall very early on.

Painting by Masoud Babakhani
Painting by Masoud Babakhani

"Unfortunately, this is rarely a reflection of their creative potential or what they have to offer. As a result, local collectors miss out on a wealth of untapped talent and artists like Masoud have no option but to give up on their careers."

Masoud's story

"Surrounded by my grandfathers paintings of the countryside around my home town in Iran, my love for painting began when I was just a child. At 14, my parents sent me to the Shiraz Art School where I studied for four years. Thereafter, I spent another two years at the Mogtama Hunar University in Tehran, learning to use all sorts of materials for my paintings.

"In 1993, I joined the University of Marmara in Turkey where I meet some artists. I had the opportunity of working with some famous artists and a year later I held my first art exhibition, which was televised in Turkey, Germany and Switzerland.

Painting by Masoud Babakhani
Painting by Masoud Babakhani

"In 1997, I returned to Iran. I produced my first film and I also designed stage sets and costumes for two other films. I have also acted in films.

"After arriving in the UK in 2000, one of the first things I did was to learn English at college and also study Art and Design in the University of Central England. I have continued to paint and hold exhibitions of my work.

Currently, I am working on a series of paintings which will, I hope , express through beautiful women and flowers the need for beauty in all our lives."

last updated: 09/12/04
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