Rustam in the Dead of Winter, 2009

Fereydoun Ave Iranian

Not on view

In many of his works, Ave explores the story of Rustam, the central male hero from the Shahnama, who repeatedly triumphs in battle and love. In this piece, Ave likens Rustam to a modern-day Iranian wrestler from the traditional zurkhana (in Persian "house of power"). Instead of showing him triumphant, however, he depicts him as lost, wandering through a bleak landscape. The sky is punctuated with dripping red paint and birds, suggestive both of death and ancient Persia’s iconic bird, faravahar. The piece is a meditation on the Iranian male identity and chivalry.

Rustam in the Dead of Winter, 2009, Fereydoun Ave (Iranian, born Tehran, 1945), Mixed media and print on canvas

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