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Tribute to Derissi: San Diego & Shiraz Went Dark!

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter Left Us!
Tribute to Derissi: San Diego and Shiraz Went Dark!

Ahreeman X
December 31, 2020

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter of Modern Art and leading Surrealist Painter

I Put This Moment Over Here

At this moment, just for a moment, San Diego and Shiraz both went dark!

They always leave us on Christmas and New Year Holidays but this one hit close to the home and to the heart! Iran’s leading Surrealist Painter, one of Iran’s greatest Modern Art Masters, a wonderful IPC author, a Dear Friend and Family, a Great Humanitarian has passed away. Abbas Derissi has left us! On December 30, 2020, after a 3-weeks long battle with COVID-19, the death took Derissi away from us. He was 74 years young and full of life.

Derissi was an internationally known artist, famous in Iran but based in San Diego, California, USA. On this date, San Diego went dark!

Why Derissi was a Valuable Human Being?

I respected Derissi for two reasons:

* Derissi was a great artist
* Derissi was a great humanitarian

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter was a classic character

Derissi the Iranian Master Painter

Derissi was simply one of the leading Iranian Surrealist Painters of all times and he surely was one of Iran’s best Contemporary Artists. Derissi was a painter, sculptor and graphic artist. He was best known for his unique Surrealist Art; however, he also experimented with various other styles.

Derissi Styles of Art
* Surrealist
* Abstract
* Surreal Abstract
* Clay and Hay

In the past we have published a great number of his best art pieces under various albums. You can observe his best galleries of art work under his index page in IPC:

Abbas Derissi Index

Derissi Updates Thread can be viewed here:

Abbas Derissi Master Persian Artist Painter Updates Thread

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter at his San Diego, California, USA Studio

Abbas Derissi Interview

Derissi was a man of all trades. He was not only a painter but in to various branches of art. He was even playing music. He was playing Persian traditional instruments such as Tonbak (percussion instrument) and Tar (string instrument). I also play a little bit Tonbak. Few times, a group of us played a few group harmony Traditional Persian Music pieces. I cherish those moments.

A very interesting Derissi interview was conducted personally by me. In this interview, Derissi spoke from the heart. Derissi spoke of painting, art, music, literature, philosophy, his interests and various other elements close to his heart. This lovely interview can be viewed here:

A Day at Derissi Art Studio - Gallery
Part 1: An Interview with Abbas Derissi

A Day at Derissi Art Studio - Gallery
Part 2: Derissi at Work

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter with his "Glimpse of a New Life" Painting

Soul of Derissi Art

Derissi’s art had a special soul, unique to itself which represented Abbas’ psyche to the most. Derissi always believed in team work and togetherness. He used to always emphasize:

“One person’s set of hands has no noise, but two persons’ sets of hands has a loud noise!”

He was a people’s person. He loved socializing, communication, throwing art shows and having long chats about art, literature and life. Derissi loved people.

In all Derissi’s paintings, at some corner of the canvas, you will notice two little men standing next to each other. These two little men were his MO which comes from the above motto of two people can make a louder noise and by working together they can make a bigger change and a larger impact. Togetherness was his motto.

Derissi’s art was full of life, colors, wondrous stories and strange concepts. Even though his Surreal art was famous but his unique blend of surrealism with abstract art was noticeable and his Clay and Hay straw art was special. It was his unique voice, painted on the canvas. His art was basically his emotions, messages and soul on canvas.

Abbas Derissi Surrealist Gallery

Abbas Derissi Clay and Hay Art Gallery

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter’s “The Great Migration” (Self Portrait) Painting
Notice the two small standing men at the bottom left corner of the painting. That is the Derissi MO for togetherness and team work.

Derissi the Humanitarian

Since I have known Abbas, his house has been full of guests, some family, some friends and some total strangers from around the world. He was very hospitable. Abbas gave a new definition to the term “Persian Hospitality”! The number of people from Iran, around the world and around America whom he brought to San Diego, housed them, aid them, support them and helped them to stand on their own feet and then sent them to their new lives of their own, is out of count! So many people and complete families were brought by Derissi to San Diego, set straight, found a career and sent to their new lives around America.

Derissi helped so many people get their start in America. So many people found jobs through Derissi, found careers through Derissi, went to school through Derissi, put their lives back together through Derissi and found a new life through Derissi.

Derissi’s home was always open to all and everyone was welcomed. He never rejected anyone, furthermore, he insisted for everyone to stay at his home until they can stand on their own feet.

If for whatever reason, you needed help, Derissi’s door was open to you.
If you were a family wanting a new start in America, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you were an Iranian seeking green card or citizenship in America, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you wanted to become a student in America, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you wanted a job and a new career, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you wanted a new life, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you wanted a fresh start, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you wanted to get your life straight, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you had a fight with your spouse and needed a place to stay, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you needed a place to stay for a while, you would go to Derissi’s home.
If you were a family, friend or total stranger in need of help, you would go to Derissi’s home.

Through the decades, I have personally witnessed family, friends or even complete strangers from Iran, Europe and around USA to come stay at Derissi’s home for weeks, months and even a year until they got their acts straight, go to school, get a job, get a home and get a life of their own! From single young girls, boys, couples and complete families of four stayed at his home until they got a life of their own and Abbas helped them every inch of the way to stand on their own feet!

Derissi was a type of a guy who would share his last loaf of bread with you, his last dollar with you and take the shirt off of his back and give it to you (literally)! Some took advantage of his hospitality but many until this day are appreciated for what he had done for them because no one else would do what Derissi done for many! Derissi was a character!

Derissi was a jewel of a man, a wonderful soul and a great human being. I honestly have rarely seen people like Derissi who would sincerely help their fellow Iranians and human beings, heart and soul.

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter’s “Minding My Roots” Painting
Notice the two small standing men at the right side of the painting. That is the Derissi MO for togetherness and team work.

Derissi Hotel

There was an inside joke in the inner circle which we referred to Abbas’ house as the “Derissi Hotel” because at any given day of the year, there were tons of people either visiting or staying at the Derissi’s house! I rarely seen him alone in his studio, gallery or home! There were always family, friends, old classmates, students, art lovers, his fans or total strangers hanging with him, around him, visiting or staying with him.

Abbas loved people, wanted people to be around him, needed to help people and enjoyed the company.

Abbas Derissi the Chef is grilling his famous Persian Kabobs on his homemade Persian Grill for his guests at one of his parties.

Derissi Kabob Parties

Derissi Persian Kabob Parties were famous in San Diego! Derissi would constantly throw big parties with variety of drinks, Persian food and desserts at his house. His most famous MO was his mastership in cooking Persian kabobs!

At Derissi parties, he would personally put on an apron, go behind the homemade Persian Grill (Manqal) and cook superbly delicious variety of Kubideh Kabob (ground beef), Barg Kabob (steak), Chenjeh Kabob (beef chunks), Jujeh Kabob (chicken) and Gojeh (charbroiled grilled tomatoes) for you. He would lay all the kabobs in between tasty Sangak or Lavash Persian breads, oozing with kabob juices, bringing it to the table and serving them with a tray full of Persian Basmati Saffron Rice and Tahdig (Crispy Rice at the pot’s bottom)! Thinking about the Derissi Kabob Parties makes my mouth water!

After dinner, Persian tea, saffron ice cream and desserts would be served in the ocean front, large deck balcony, in front of the outdoor fireplace. Persian music was always blasting inside, with people dancing the nights away!

Derissi Lived Life to the Full

Derissi lived, loved and died this way. Derissi always wanted a ton of people around him and he loved entertaining, cooking and serving people. He was a people’s person. He would not have it any other way.

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter’s “Safe at Sea” Painting
Notice the two small standing men at the bottom of the painting. That is the Derissi MO for togetherness and team work.

COVID-19 Tragedy

When Chinese Virus came, it took the livelihood out of people but did it stop Derissi Hotel to operate? Hell no! Unfortunately, Derissi’s hospitable nature caused the end of him! Have in mind that only 7% of the dead, died of COVID-19 but the rest died of Pre-Condition diseases which COVID agitated and killed them. Diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Problem and Shortness of Breath. Derissi had a heart condition and shortness of breath both. That would be an accident waiting to happen! The funny thing was that Abbas was always healthy as a horse! He was a type of person who never went to hospital!

A month and a half ago, as usual he had guests, among them family, friends and acquaintances at his house. He had a house full of people whom he entertained and partied with inside the house. A month ago, they thrown an outdoor party at a beach park. I did not attend this party. Even though with masks, social distancing and caution, yet I knew better not to attend!

So, a month and a half ago, Derissi had a house full of guests whom he partied with. A month ago, he thrown a party outdoor at the beach. 3 weeks ago, I talked to him on the phone and we were joking around. Next thing you know, he went to hospital, and then unconscious. After 3 weeks of suffering battle with COVID-19, he passed away on December 30, 2020. Most likely he got the disease from the people at the house. Many people at the house and the party got COVID-19 but all of them except Abbas got well!

For the final farewell, we had a zoom video meeting with him who was out of it, due to pain killers, but I honestly believe that deep inside his psyche, he was aware and he could hear us talking to him! After I spoke to him, I moved away from the camera but suddenly everyone said Abbas moved his hand! It seemed like in his state of half wake, he confirmed that he heard me! That was impressing! That was heartwarming! There was still hope!

During the past few weeks, my mind was on him and constantly thinking of him. He finally collapsed and expired.

It is horrible to die in the COVID-19 Era, alone in the hospital where no one is allowed to be with you, alone in the mortuary, where no one will even touch you, make up or dress you because you will not have open coffin or casket, alone in the grave because you cannot have a funeral when all around you have had or still have COVID-19. It is a lonely death! I rather be cremated and ashes thrown in the ocean to be free but Abbas wanted a burial, little did he know that his death would be accidental and due to COVID-19 it would be tragic! A lonely suffering death indeed!

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter’s “Far but in Reach” Painting
Notice the two small standing men at the right side of the painting. That is the Derissi MO for togetherness and team work.

Derissi’s Death is Even Surreal!

Same as his paintings, his life and his soul, even his death is surreal! I am sitting here and writing this piece with tears in my eyes yet, it is so hard to believe that he is gone! Every corner of my estate, on the front courtyard bench, on the patio seat, on the bench behind the grill island at the backyard, next to the pool, around the formal dining room, on the couch in the living room, on the chair in my office, in the garage and everywhere, I see him standing or sitting where he did, his beautiful smile, his familiar homey talk and his stories and jokes! Every corner has a memory of him!

I simply cannot believe that he is gone. This must be a joke he is pulling on us! It is too surreal to be real! I can’t believe he left us!

At this point I totally lost control and stopped writing and start weeping like a baby! Could not carry on anymore! I’ll return in a bit.

Derissi Graphics

There are all types of Derissi’s art galleries published in IPC except his graphics! Did you know he was also a graphic artist? Not many people know! A while ago, Derissi and I were planning to have a second interview with him and then publish an album of his best graphic arts both in IPC. All the graphic arts are downloaded and ready to photoshop for best visuals but his passing stole the second interview from us. At least I had a chance to speak with him 3 weeks ago, just before he went to hospital! When we had the video net meeting, he was sleeping flat, so his full face was not appeared. That was good because I want to remember him with his healthy big smile, joking around and telling stories. I don’t want to remember him on his death bed! I want to remember the good times.

Stay tuned for the upcoming final gallery of Derissi which will be his rare graphic arts. The last gallery of Derissi, remembering his lively and lovely great soul and his beautiful smile.

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter with his “Ballerina” Painting
Deep Stare into a life, Derissi Style!

Derissi Timeline

Abbas Derissi Timeline (1946 - 2020)

* Born in Tangsir, Bushehr Province, Iran 1946
* Raised in Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
* Started painting at the age of 10
* Was the top student in Tehran’s Academy of Fine Art (Kamal-ol-Molk)
* Graduated from the Fine Art University in Tehran with honors
* Became Chairman of the Fine Art Department at Pahlavi University, Shiraz
* Worked as Decorator in NIRT (Imperial National Iranian Radio and Television)
* Worked in Rome, Italy as an Art Researcher at Bell Art
* In charge of Art Research in Paris at College Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
* Met Marc Chagall in Paris in 1970s
* Came under the tutelage of Salvador Dali at Rome in 1972
* Met Salvador Dali again at Chicago, USA in 1986
* Since 1972 Derissi has had exhibitions of his work in museums and galleries in France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, England, UAE and USA.

* Passed Away in San Diego, California, USA 2020

Derissi’s Shiraz Soul

Even though Abbas was not born in Shiraz but he was raised in Shiraz. The town of Shiraz is known for its poets, artists, miniatures, music, wines, dancers and beautiful girls. Shiraz is Iran’s party town. That was Abba’s psyche, full of soul, party, art, poetry, wine and romance.

Abbas Derissi Iranian Master Painter at his studio in San Diego, California, USA

I Will Always Remember You My Friend

With condolences to all of Derissi’s family, friends, colleagues, students and fans, we will not mourn his passing but we will be celebrating his life. Abbas wanted it that way. Abbas wanted everyone to party, dance and love with laughter celebrating his life, not mourning for his death!

With his humanity, he impacted hundreds; With his art, he impacted millions; but with his soul, he impacted a generation.

After someone’s death, Derissi used to always humor us and tell us that:

“We are reaching the front of the line for the train (to eternity)!”

He used to say we are next and our train is coming!

Abbas jan, it was not your turn to go to the frontline, but someone bought you a ticket and pushed you to the front of the line! You left us out of turn because it was not your turn to go!

Abbas jan, we still had lots of plans and many projects to do! You still had a lot to say! You left us out of turn! You cheated and jumped in front of the line!

I will stop this right here because I am frankly falling all apart.  I usually do not fall apart like this for many people but Abbas was not many people. Abbas was in our heart. He still is.

Derissi, I will never forget you. I will keep you alive in my heart.

I shall put this moment over here, right over here …….


Dr. X


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