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Abbas Katouzian

I was born in Tehran, in downtown districts where honest warm-hearted people live as they always have. My mother passed away before I was two years old, but I passed a happy childhood with my father. As far as I remember, I was never deprived of anything. I was an energetic child and took up traditional Persian weight lifting at the age of fourteen - there was no other sport at the time. This was done in a place called Zourkhaneh where weight lifting was accompanied by the epic verses of Ferdowsi, recited by the late Morshed Baqer. I became a tireless and enthusiastic sportsman, as I continue to be today.

As for painting, it used to occupy my time and mind to the point where I lost track of passing days and weeks. Time still flies unnoticed when I am engrossed in lines and colors. Painting has been an ever-present companion in the lonely hours of my otherwise eventful life; I have never had nor needed a better friend. For years it was not unusual for me to spend over 15 hours a day working at my easel, increasingly absorbed by the extensive and varied world I have created for myself. I have been fortunate enough throughout my life, God be praised, not to have had to paint to earn a living, enjoying financial independence.

In the past, I have held 26 exhibitions of my works in Tehran and 9 in Abadan. In 1973 I was privileged to have a had a joint exhibition in the National onsultative Assembly with the works of the late Kamal-ul Mulk, which lasted 100 days. At this time, over 200 of my paintings appeared on magazine covers. These were mostly inspired from the daily lives of hard working people, and were themselves a source of inspiration to other painters. I seem to have fulfilled my desire to make a contribution to the cultural life of the nation. I have exhibited my works 5 times in the United States and once in Great Britain in the Lytton House library, where I was also interviewed on radio and the exhibition commented on in the press. Three exhibitions held in France were reviewed in Images du Monde.

Self Portrait
Art exhibition in Tehran Iran