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Derissi Then and Now

Abbas Derissi, Iranian Master Painter
Derissi Then and Now

Art Review: Ahreeman X
Abbas Derissi
March 1, 2007

Abbas Derissi, Iranian Master Painter and artist

This season's IPC Spotlight is on Abbas Derissi ……
The season is Spring and what better Iranian to put on the spotlight than one who represents flowers, poetry, painting, art, romance, rejuvenation, greens, Nowruz and Spring: Abbas Derissi in the flesh!

Derissi Then

Abbas Derissi is a classic. He is a humble, traditional Iranian with the entire fine hospitable, friendly and pleasant traditional Iranian mentality and behavior. The only element not classical in him is his art! Even though he has done some Realistic and Classical work, and is well familiar with Persian Classical Painting and Miniatures, yet his beef is Surrealism, Abstract and his own unique style of Clay and Straw painting.

Mix Surrealism, Abstract and Modern Art with a dash o Shiraz and what do you get? Abbas Derissi indeed!

As you know me, when it comes down to the definition of art, I am an extremely selective critic. As a poet, author, musician and a graphic designer, I do not approve of a poem, a literature piece, a music piece, a play, a film, or a painting as "Art" unless it is truly art! I am a hell of a critic and I give the 9 degrees to the artist before I approve of his art. So when I say Abbas Derissi is truly an artist, then you are well assured that this man is the Real Deal.

Abbas Derissi the painter, sculptor and graphic designer, started his career in Iran as a realist. He started painting at the age of ten. Isn't it amazing how all bright minds always start at age ten? As you know, I started the study of history and philosophy at age ten and Abbas started painting at age ten! I developed as an amateur historian and Abbas developed as an artist.

Back in Iran, Derissi's recognition in art was very obvious as he was growing up to be one of the very few talented students in Tehran's Academy of Fine Arts at Tehran University. After graduating he worked his way up as the head designer of the Iranian National Television Broadcasting and the Chairman of the Fine Arts Department of the Pahlavi University of Shiraz. Before 1979, Derissi had done some great work for both Imperial Iranian National Television and Pahlavi Shiraz University.

Abbas in his studio

Derissi has shared his artistic views and work with other artists and public all around the globe in over 48 art expositions and many more art shows. Abbas Derissi has exhibited his art in Iran, Greece, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States of America. His 2000 Expo in San Diego and 2001 Expo in New York were simply smashes! These Expos were eye-catching.

Derissi Unmasked

Abbas is from Shiraz, town of love and poetry. He is a typical Shirazi Artist. If you define his life in one word then it will be "Love"! He is a follower of Omar Khayyam. He loves Hafiz and Sa'di masters of Persian poetry. He is a man of art, poetry, Sharab (wine), kabob, romance and love. At an average day, you can witness guests from all around the world are coming and going in and out of his art gallery, studio and home. He often hosts guests from around the globe at his home. Guests stay for weeks and months at his place. His life is his family and friends. He enjoys entertaining and hosting good friends.

Abbas, The Deep Look!

Aside from being an artist and a master painter, he is also a master kabob chef. If you want to taste the best Persian charbroiled Kabobs such as: Kubideh (Ground Beef), Jujeh (Chicken), Chenjeh (Beef Chunks), Bareh (Lamb) and Shish Kabobs, you better be on Derissi's list of friends so he can grill some for you on his famous Persian handmade Manqal Grill! After Kabob, he loves to sit down around the table and relax near the wood-fire grill on the ocean-view deck outside his house, on top of the hill. He loves chats around the fire. Chats about art, poetry, philosophy, history, news and current events are his favorites. Nothing more soothing and heartwarming than chats around the fire with Abbas and other friends. The typical Persian hospitality is well alive n Abbas. If you are a good Persian or Non Persian human being, then Derissi's door is always open to you.

Derissi Surrealistic Paintings

In 1972 Abbas Derissi met Salvador Dali in Rome, and worked with him. This amazing experience changed his life and his style of painting yet the surrealistic world of Abbas Derissi was not one of melting clocks and teapots with eyes of Salvador Dali to melt and fade away. The two collaborated and Dali effected Derissi's art but he did not change Derissi's style!

Derissi's vision was his own and he had a unique and wonderful style of his own. He saw man as pitted against the elements; a brilliant, blinding sun; the scorched earth; a wind blown desert in which objects and/or people were floated in a dream-like state. To view these luminous paintings was to inhabit the transcendent self, simply because of their rapt content and brilliant technique. Derissi's art takes you away in a dream-like surrealistic world!

Abbas a true Classic. Abbas has his own unique style of art, dress-up and lifestyle!

Personally I am a lover of Realism, Classical and Miniature painting. Allow me to be very frank with you: I believe Abstract and Modern painting is garbage, valueless and is surely not art. Abbas is a rare meaningful artist amongst the sea of Modern Abstract "Trash Painters". Sometimes I see Abbas displays other artist's arts and throws shows for them. Abbas helps other painters by using his art gallery to sell their paintings. Abbas loves to help people, especially young artists. I can make a lot of comments but I will only make one: I just don't know how they sell and who buys all these garbage? Some of these paintings are similar to a 3rd grader throwing paint balls on the canvas! What morons would actually buy these abominations for thousands of dollars and hang them in their homes? I would not pay a dime for these so-called Art Work!

I cannot stand Abstract and Modern painting; however, I must admit that I find Abbases work intriguing and meaningful. I enjoy his color combinations, stories behind his art and overall his great style. The reason for me liking his art could be that he mixes surrealism with abstract.

Derissi Clay and Straw Paintings

Now these are some of my favorites. In addition to his surrealist work, Derissi had created another unique style, which originally was a pilgrimage and a homage to the rural locations of Iran, through creation of realistic figures in landscapes and settings comprised of real clay and straw. The effect is magnificent, unsettling yet provocative and pleasing. When you look at Abbases Clay and Straw paintings, you get a warm feeling, the same feeling that you used to get while travelling small villages of Iran. You can look at one of these paintings and suddenly feel like you are in some small desert village in Yazd, central Iran or maybe some mountain village in Kurdistan, Iran!

Abbas does not really paint anymore Clay and Straw paintings, and this is more reason for them to become classics. I own one of these Clay and Straw paintings. Actually I have an original Derissi Clay and Straw painting which I cherish and enjoy very much.

Derissi Now

Derissi is currently blending his surrealistic style with abstract painting. Some results are wonderful. He is working on his paintings, sculptures, designs and training art students at his studio. Abbas trains many art students and he holds classes both in his studio and other locations in San Diego.

Derissi Art

Derissi Art are for those who Think. If you look carefully in to all Derissi paintings, you will see two very small men on the corners of each painting! This is The Derissi brand. Two small men represent: A) How small is human in comparison to the universe. B) Abbas believes in power of cooperation (two) rather than single mindedness (one).

Let us review some of Derissi's art:

Last Chance - Abbas, the man, the art, the music and the whole shebang!

The Breakout

Minding My Root


Lonely Tears

Other Side


Glimpse of a New Life

Derissi Gallery

The Derissi Gallery is located at La Jolla, San Diego County:

Derissi Art Gallery and Studio
Phone: (858) 551-4555

Final Words

I believe it is best for us to appreciate and value our great artists while they are alive. Iranians often wait until a writer, a poet or a painter dies and only then they celebrate his art! Iranians are good with Dead Worship, but I am a firm believer in "Life and Love Worship" and that is why I often celebrate the wonderful works of our many talented Iranian Artists:

IPC Poetry

IPC Art & Literature

IPC Animation and Graphics

Abbas is one of the best contemporary Iranian painters. Abbas Derissi, a wonderful human being, a fabulous artist and The Real Deal.

I wish Abbas the best and more successful and prosperous days in the future. Let us together celebrate Abbas Derissi, the humble, lovely and talented Iranian Master Painter.

More power to Art

Dr. X

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