Artist Statement & Biography
I explore female beauty through the filter of my childhood in repressive Tehran, Iran, where as a boy I sketched female figures from contraband magazines. In this series, I portray empty gazes and whitened faces of women. I seek to reduce the effects of cultural dictates about beauty and to highlight the essential, timeless qualities of my subjects. My portraits reflect a perspective about beauty that was formed by the restrictive circumstances of my youth. These circumstances are a key element of my identity as an artist.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Aryai displayed an interest in art from early childhood. Finding himself in a stringent cultural environment in the mid 70's, Aryai left Iran for England where he received his formal education and was free to pursue his artistic passions. Later he ventured on to the United States where in the mid 80's he immersed himself in the medium of photography. This gave him the perfect means and medium to capture the essence and beauty of his subject matter through his own unique vision, approach, and style.
Aryai is also credited with producing artistic product renderings for such major companies as Nike, Kraft, Blue Cross, Samsung and Adidas. His images have also appeared as key set decorations in major motion pictures.
Aryai's images speak universally and have garnered both national and international acclaim. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His collectors span the globe.