Raised among the splendors of antiquity, Bagher Azadi, known affectionately as Bob, is a distinguished artist.
In Southern Kurdistan, amid a great panorama of beauty, Bob was born and raised in the ancient city of Kermanshah. This ancient city, so rich in culture, lies at the foot of the Zagros Mountains in Iran. It was founded in the 4th century AD. Remnants of the ancient civilizations still remain on the outskirts of Kermanshah, at Bist-Sotun. The age old story of King Khosrow Parviz and Farhad, the stone cutter, who were both in love with Shirin, a Christian princess, is associated with the ancient rock-carvings at Bist-Sotun.The carvings tell the story of the rise of King Darius, the Great.
Kermanshah, was once a trading center on the caravan routes between the Mediterranean Sea and Central Asia; these roads were part of the ancient “Silk Roads”, the roads of Marco Polo, Alexander the great,Kublai-Khan and Attila, the Hun.
Bagher grew up in a large, middle class family. His father, a strong, honest and religious man was a retailer; he owned a shoe store. He was popular and played the Setaar. He had thirteen children, eight boys and five girls from two wives. He was a strict disciplinarian who believed the rough treatment he handed out to his boys would make them strong.
Like his older brothers Bagher’s father took him at a tender young age to work at the “bazaar”, the ancient marketplace where master craftsmen and artists sold their craft. The fine workmanship displayed in the construction and manufacture of hand-knotted Persian carpets, extraordinarily crafted knives, elegant shoes, graceful handmade
pottery, beautiful inlaid wood works and exquisite jewelry inspired young Bagher. His camaraderie with these artists nourished his interest in the diversified articulations of humanity.
When Bagher was twelve years old he was an apprentice goldsmith,designing and making gold chains and rings. By the age of seventeen,he had expanded his artistic talents into woodcarvings and poetry. Bagher graduated from High School an artist in his own right. He went on to college and became a schoolteacher. His creativity flowed from the one project into the other. His inquisitive nature and multiple talents even brought him into building a prototype three-cylinder, two-cycle automotive style gasoline engine. He decided at that time to attend a German college to further his technical education.
In 1978 Bagher came to the United States, hungry for more knowledge; he continued his education, while his hobbies became even more varied. He expanded his artistic talents through poetry and music. Bob’s musical talents quickly blossomed while he nourished his fine workmanship in woodcarving. He designed and built a Setaar, his instrument of choice. The music of the Setaar can be heard in most Persian musical ensembles. Bob loves this instrument and has been found playing until the early hours of the morning,inspired by the beautiful sweet sound of ancient Persian melodies.
In his early years in the United States, Bob started dabbling in ceramics. He found it the perfect medium for expressing his poetry and philosophy. He says that the process starts as an inseparation that comes to him,as if the hand of God is guiding him in his expression of thought.
He works in an intense and frenzied pace, until he is utterly exhausted,to get the thesis of his painting established. The formula for making one of his exquisitely decorated ceramic plate paintings requires weeks of intensive labor and creative work.
The paint flows onto his ceramic composition, with painstaking detail paid to every aspect of this craft. Six layers of paint and glaze are each fired separately. The end result is an inspirational and refined depiction of his poetry, study of truth and religion.
The Ceramic Plate Shows have awarded Bob first place for many of his ceramic plate paintings, a true testament to the quality of his paintings.His plates are so admired, he is often asked if they are for sale, the answer he finds difficult, as they have become part of him, his philosophy stated and his imagination put into artistic expression.
People from all over the world have related stories of these cherished plates, received by dear friends and family members. His philosophy,his love of art his enthusiasm for perfection have made Bob an extraordinary artist.