In addition to the the contribution that Mesopotamian Night has made to revive Assyrian music, it was important for us to promote Assyrian visual arts. This year we are proud to feature the work of the very talented Assyrian Artist Mr. Jelbert Karami
JELBERT KARAMI was Born in Tehran in 1985. He began painting at the age of 14, after seeing a work by Sohrab Sepehri at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. He studied at Mana, an art academy in Tehran, mounting his first solo exhibition there in 2005. At 20, he committed his life to art, starting to paint professionally, gaining a reputation, teaching in numerous schools, and holding workshops in private clubs in the city.
The challenges of being an artist in Iran include extreme censorship of subject matter; and while an Assyrian artist can become well known, there are eyes on him or her at all times. Though he had more than dozen highly-acclaimed solo exhibitions and was featured in a cover article in a national art magazine, he left his homeland for Vienna in 2015, stayed a few months, and came to the United States in 2016.
Karami’s works reflects both, his spirituality and his love for the Assyrian nation, his focus on Middle-Eastern culture and human-rights issues, especially the oppression of women. He has said that “seeing my history vanishing is devastating” but believes that humanity can ultimately become a true community by reaching past darkness for light, and “for me that light came through art.”
Jelbert Karami is pictured above with his art “Wounds” at the California State University Stanislaus –Mainstage Theatre, on August 7, 2017 where he was one of the Assyrian artists, sponsored by the Assyrian Arts Institute, featured for the Assyrian Genocide Remembrance Exhibition. He painted this masterpiece in front of live audience at the Assyrian Cultural Center of Bet-Nahrain in Ceres, California, January 2017. In this piece, he wanted to illustrate how time has changed Assyrian history; War, the loss of the land, genocides, and at the end the migration of the people and its effects on civilization.
The following artwork from Jelbert will be part of the Silent Auction during the 10th Annual Mesopotamian Night on October 7, 2017 at the California Theatre in San Jose.