Arash Shirinbab

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Diverse visual arts, particularly Arabic-Persian calligraphy, have been among my passions since the age of 11. After taking various painting classes and trying different calligraphy styles for over 14 years, in 2008 I engaged in serious study of classical calligraphy styles under masters from the Iranian Calligraphists Association. Since then, I have found calligraphy, in various forms, to be a great way of voicing my creativity.

My style of painting is called Poem-Painting, created and coined by myself. In my arts I use both the linguistic and aesthetic power of words to create poetic visual art pieces. My inspiration usually begins with a poem whose essence and atmosphere illuminate my own world. Without writing out the entire poem, I extract its key words and paint or inscribe them in different styles of calligraphy in my own style.

My combination of calligraphy, painting, and poetry is intended as a dialogue between distinct art forms and cultures, in which I craft words, lines, textures and colors to display a mysterious, enchanting, and multifaceted world, one which reflects both my own Persian identity and contemporary, universally comprehensible artistic values. While a poem in itself requires translation in order to be intelligible to others, my artworks meant for an audience of all backgrounds, regardless of language.

The unrestrained inspirational sources of my artworks here are poems of an award winning Persian poet, Ora (Shahin Khosravinejad). I created the first three artworks in a collaborative process with Ora, in which we chose her poems which were depicting the challenges related to work and workers and then I created the artworks based on the conversations we had before and during my work about the essence of those poems. We both desired to create very expressive scenes of the life of different people who are facing deep challenges in personal, social, and political levels because of their jobs.

Miners #1: This artwork depicts the dark moments that mine workers are facing in many places in the world and do suffer while they work in the gloomy, wet, and cold mines. These workers sometimes do vanish in deep tunnels under the ground and become part of the history of the mine.

The Lead Soldiers: This is an expressive scene about one of the most challenging jobs, which is serving in military. Both the painting and poem are trying to convey this shocking fact of soldiers’ life that these people, in a variety of times and places, are casted into a specific shape, their feelings and ideas are neglected, and they have become only an instrument in hand of politicians to kill others.

The Pipes: This piece is about petroleum landsmen and how they get sacrificed in many unstandardized oil stations and working environments. They eventually become the mean to transport the oil from sources to the customers and are part of the modern slavery working system.

Closed Eyes: This artwork is opening a dialogue about the personal and social challenges of having no work as well as working in modern-slavery working system.

Miners #2: This artwork is about mine workers of the world and how they suffers while they work in the gloomy, wet, and cold mines. These workers sometimes do vanish in deep tunnels under the ground and become part of the history of the mine. Ora’s poem reads:

dotted lines

faintly visible

world's shades of color

that moment when miners

--with eyes covered in coke's dust --

step into an astonishing day

(Translated by Aria Fani)

Fallen: This piece is about immigrant workers around the world, their personal and professional challenges, and how they encounter dangerous working situations and lose their lives in many occasions.

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Arash Shirinbab
 is an award winning artist and designer. He is a recent graduate of California College of the Arts and has managed to be a successful blend of practicing artist, calligrapher, art manager, and entrepreneur for the past ten years. Arash has participated in over 15 exhibitions in the US, Spain, Poland, and Iran, and has devised several art workshops and classes in the US. In the course of a few years, Arash has become a visible and active artist and calligrapher in the Bay Area, California. Among Arash’s awards are, Special Merit Award for the 3rd Annual International Animals Art competition from Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery 2013, Special Recognition Award for My Art international competition from Art Quench Magazine 2013, ACTA Grant for Traditional Arts with ICCNC from ACTA organization 2013, and Special Recognition Award for International Art & Design competition from Core77 organization 2012.