by Stephen J. Gertz
Now living in Cologne, Germany, with his wife, Carmen, a historian of photography, Iranian-born artist Alireza Darvish, who has used books as metaphors in his art, is a political refugee.
On Monday, Booktryst provided an overview of his work. Today, we follow-up and hear directly from Alireza Darvish.
BT: What inspired you to integrate books into your art?
AD: The reason why I started working on this series was because of censorship and its effects on people's life (specially writers and visual artists) in Iran.
It was around 20 years ago (when I was 23) that I started working on this topic. I myself had to throw my books about prohibited topics/authors to the closest river to avoid getting in trouble when I was only 15 years old. Some years later, I started working as an illustrator in a literature journal in Tehran, and there I came in contact again with this problem. So the first years that I worked on this topic I was under the influence of a particular political reaction bounded to my homeland.
BT: What happened?
AD: Needless to say, I got in trouble for my work in Iran.
In 1995 I decided to move to Germany and received official status as politic refugee three years later. This time, a second phase in my work starts: I finally managed to go out of the political reality of Iran and my work became universal, the human being and her/his relation to the world of "books" (metaphors for any problem that might concern me) what shapes my work: human rights, love, women rights, fear, solitude, human relations, literature, etc....
These drawings have also entered my animated film work, many of them becoming alive through animation of the same drawing ("The Foot Steps of Water" 2006, and "What If Spring Does Not Come?" 2007).
Once again, we thank Alireza Darvish for permission to reproduce his imagery here on Booktryst, and for allowing us into his world.