It’s All True!

I have lived and worked as an arts professional in Los Angeles for decades. My exhibitions have helped launch and/or advance the careers of many artists. I have worked with a very diverse group of artists both in Los Angeles and abroad. In 2011 ‘My Super Hero, New Contemporary Art From Iran’ showcasing the works of 35 contemporary artists from Iran was the first of its kind in Los Angeles for more than one reason.

My Super Hero
New Contemporary Art From Iran
March 5 – April 30, 2011
Morono Kiang Gallery

A collaboration with Aaran Gallery in Tehran, It was the first major art exhibit coming directly from Iran. It was also the first and to my knowledge the only time an exhibition opened and ran concurrently in Tehran and Los Angeles. Like my first exhibit coming directly from Iran in 2009, ‘from The Streets of Iran’ (street art from Iran), it was very well received by audiences and the press alike. The featured publicity image for ‘My Super Hero’ was Newsha Tavakolian’s (pictured). Twelve years later, this is one of two photographs of Newsha’s that keeps getting attention on a regular basis. It has been included in many exhibitions since its debut in ‘My Super Hero’. The same image is on the cover of a new book on Iranian women photographers. ‘ Breathing Space: Iranian Women Photographers’ was just published by Thames & Hudson that features works by 23 women photographers. I have included some recent screenshots. I have always been grateful to Eliot Kiang, the owner of Morono Kiang Gallery, for his generous support to make that exhibit possible. I’m also grateful to Nazila Noebashari Owner and curator at Aaran Gallery whose persistent visionary work has been a very important part of the history of contemporary Iranian art. 

1001 Words

1001 Words is a place where I post and share my photos, and an occasional video, without having to spend time on social media. I might still share some pics on various sites, but this is where I like to publish my photos first.

I have taken over 50,000 photos over the years. Around 15000 of those photos are analog and shot before even Fax machines (Google Fax if you haven’t heard of it) were invented. This is my “instAlternative”. It used to be that sites like instagram were for posting your photos, but now they are all saturated with ads and non-photography related content. On this site, I just post photos I have taken for my own amusement and since I can’t really start from the beginning, I am starting with the most recent photos. Most of the photos are documentary, meaning they are not staged and I do not create a predetermined set up and any and all effects are in-camera effects whether analog or digital.

You can read more on the 1001 Words.

This site is dedicated to my friends Debbie, Forrest and Ali who are always inspiring and encouraging me.

Featured Photo: The Thinker, Le musée Rodin, Paris.

Introducing Art Salon Chinatown

Art Salon Chinatown is a new program series of exhibitions and accompanying artist talks, organized by curators Sonia Mak and Shervin Shahbazi. The salon will take place at Realm, located in Los Angeles Chinatown’s historic Central Plaza, with the primary focus of showcasing contemporary Chinese American and Asian American artists.

All information regarding schedule of exhibitions and talks and other related programs will be posted on Art Salon Chinatown website. The first Salon will present works by Sandra Low, opening on March 17th, 2018. Hope to see you there.

John Kwok Exhibit

This February, we will install an exhibition of one of the pioneering Chinese American artists, John Kwok at Realm in the Los Angeles Chinatown historic Central Plaza. The exhibition of paintings and drawings will be on view from Saturday, February 17th through Sunday March 11, 2018. This is a rare chance to see and purchase artworks previously not available. Please check for details. 

The Ministry of Culture Is Back!

Once upon a time in East LA a couple of arts professionals got together to form a collective in order to respond to all the talk about a government proposed 700 mile border wall, to be built along the US-Mexico border, in 2006! We called the “organization”  The Ministry of Culture and the project ‘The Great Wall of Chinga’. Seems like a long time ago, but it appears that the wall hype has made a come back. So, naturally we had to bring back the ministry along with all the projects that related to this issue like the WE SAY NO project that engaged the community to express themselves first hand and in under two minutes about why they oppose the proposed Wall.  

All the details will be announced soon on Back when we did this first smart phones did not really exist and yet we got a great response. Now, we aim to involve and engage as many people as possible. One can not remain idle when rolling downhill at great speed! Stay tuned.

Tomas & Ricardo

Tomas Benitez & Ricardo Duffy
All Rights Reserved
Copyright Shervin Shahbazi

Some time ago a couple of my good friends Tomas Benitez and Ricardo Duffy came to the gallery for a meeting. Tomas was the director of Self Help Graphics & Art for many years as well as a Los Angeles County Arts Commissioner and Ricardo is an artist who is known for his many public art installations as well as his wide range of artworks. It’s not often that you would get these two in a place with nobody else around, so I decided to have a mini photo session with them. This image is one of the pics from that day.

Larissa Sansour In the Future…

In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (trailer) from larissa sansour on Vimeo.

In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain is the latest and final installment of Larissa Sansour’s sci-fi trilogy. This latest project follows A Space Exodus and Nation Estate which have been exhibited in numerous venues across the world.

I was introduced to Larissa Sansour’s work when I came across Soup Over Bethlehem – Mloukhieh (2006) while researching artists for one of my exhibitions. I was fortunate enough to have A Space Exodus as part of my exhibit It’s All True which debuted Larissa’s work in Los Angeles in 2011. I hope we get to see her new work in LA soon.

In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain is on view at Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai through March 3, 2016.
To learn more about Larissa Sansour please visit her website. You can also read Abdellatif R. Abdeljawad’s interview with her in the REORIENT magazine’s website.

Sarah Elgart and Dancers

Sarah Elgart and Dancers
I photographed some of Sarah Elgart dances in the 1980s. Sarah has always been a very inspiring artist. Sarah’s choreography sets off my imagination with every move. She is one of the greatest artists I have known. This still was shot during one of the rehearsals.

©Shervin Shahbazi