by Danna Takako in New Art on Wednesday 21 December 2011

I was lucky enough to cross paths with the legendary Ali Dowlatshahi through a writing project last year. Entering the Iran-born artist’s home studio in Stamford felt a bit like uncovering a treasure that you want to share with the world, as much as you’d like to keep it for yourself.

At 87 years old, Dowlatshahi still paints everyday, and remains a linchpin for Iranian culture in the Tri-State Area. With fans of his work ranging from Persian royalty (Empress Farah Pahlavi) to pop royalty (Kanye West), Dowlatshahi’s intricate, love-laced and politically charged work precedes the instant-gratification generation. To find out more, start small with a copy of his book, Persian Design and Motifs, and work up to visiting museums in Tehran or Frankfurt to see his work in life-size.