Ayyam Gallery YCA Auction 2013

On September 16th 2013 my neon work, "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll" in Farsi was including in Ayyam's Young Collectors Auction. The event was packed, and the auctions were off!


Watermill benefit auction 2013

Two works were gladly donated to aid in the continuation and support of the Watermill Center in the Hamptons.  The event was well thought, detailed, and extremely entertaining.



Two examples of vintage citrus brands utilizing the most obvious of Orientalist imagery. 


A New Day for the Haft Sīn, 2013 An homage to “Nowruz,” the Iranian/Persian New Year

For over 3,000 years, during the vernal equinox holiday Nowruz - literally “The New Day” - families in Persia (now Iran) have traditionally set forth a table setting of seven symbolic items, each that start with the letter “Sh” in the Persian alphabet. Additional items are also included that represent essentials of our universe.  This age-old custom, called Haft Sīn (pronounced “Haft Chin”), is here revisited by contemporary artist Eric Esmail Parnes in a signature interpretation relevant to our time: 

1. Mirror (Sky)

In the installation’s nod to the past, the artist utilizes a mirror framed in an ornamental enamel of Persian design. The symbol of a mirror here plays a poignant note to its generally impartial but always contemporary grasp of the past and present, allowing a window into the times of our predecessors.

2. Apple (Earth)

Modern science has created such a radical revamping in the world of natural produce, that truly organic apples are rather scarce in urban society. The present state of food points to the direction of almost completely chemically reproduced doppelgangers. Thus, here giant apples - “bigger and better” - take the place of what once was; yet, these are now plastic.

3. Candles (Fire)

The candelabra is a merge of both the ancient and new; usually, candlesticks are used by families in the Haft-Sin. Here, a candelabra comes across as flamboyance (a word that originates from an Old French title for flame); in a way, it represents society’s fiery obsession with fame and celebrity.

4. Rose water (Water)

Rose water here is stored in Oriental reinterpretations of modern-day perfume vessels, including Gianni Versace as well as Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic female body form.

5. Sabzeh Grass (Plants)

Plantation has been so influenced by capitalism in today’s world, some corporations have even ventured into trademarked seeds and genetically modified wheats. The artist has selected that the grass emerges from McDonald’s French Fries containers, in a reflection of the present-day condition of plantation at large.

6. Goldfish (Animals)

Goldfish are contained in retro stiletto heels, a radically different form of water vessel that pays homage to the creativity of the 1970’s that still resonates in the present.

7. Painted eggs (Humans)

Instead of regular hen eggs at the setting, we find a giant Ostrich bird’s egg covered in traditional gold leaf, a design often found in Persian and Middle Eastern ornamental visions.

8. Garlic (Medicine)

The garlic bulbs emerge here in an intense neon pink, which brings to mind modernity and contemporary life, akin to the flashing lights and colors of Times Square or other staples of our current mutual sense of popular value.

9. Books (Knowledge)

Usually represented by religious books or collections of poetry, the artist has installed books that - not seen to the viewer in its current foilage - are actually books of science and industry.

10. Hyacinth Flowers (Life and Beauty)

Life and beauty, represented traditionally by the Hyacinth, is here reconsidered in the concept of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” In the United States as well as worldwide, today’s values can often been seen in our appreciation of sports teams representing our states and countries; the passion is almost religious in its devotion. The flowers still emerge from baseball caps of the New York Yankees, one of the USA’s best-known teams.

11. Sumac (Sun)

The spice made from berries, symbolizes  the color of the sun, encased in acrylic display boxes, as a contained modernist form. 

The setting takes place, instead of on a traditional Persian carpet or rug, on an oversized Louis Vuitton placemat actually acquired by the artist in the Middle East.

In 2010, the International Day of Nowruz was recognized by the United Nations’ General Assembly as a cultural holiday of Persian origin.


Gulf Command Punk

I put this together based on some of my collectables laying around. WWII gulf command patch, iranian military buttons circa 1950, comme des garçons military jacket. And Uzbek lamb hat


East West Dialogue: The Shafik Gabr Collection

I was fortunate to attend the New York premier of Shafik Gabr's orientalist collection, and panel discussion on East West dialogue. The opening was at the Met's Temple of Dendur.
Taken from the website,which provides a clear summation,  the initiative will sponsor exchanges between young and mid career Middle Eastern and Western leaders in the arts, science, sports, media and both social and business entrepreneurship.
The exchanges are designed to provide unique insights for participants into their respective societies, and a basis for developing professional and personal relationships across cultures.
Mr Gabr drew his inspiration for the initiative from his experience as an Egyptian whose world view was transformed by travel and the friendships and lessons that resulted.
He has also been inspired by the experiences of the Orientalist traveller painters, the artists whose work he has been collecting for over twenty years.
The initiative will be launched at a series of panel discussions held in London, Washington, New York, Paris, Istanbul and Cairo – accompanied by the publication of a new book Masterpieces of Orientalist Art: The Shafik Gabr Collection. for more information.



Shots of the interior exhibition @ Katara Cultural Village, in Doha during November. The solo exhibition featured a Neo Orientalist TM take on the American Television classic " I Dream of Jeannie" 



After my trip to Doha, I came back with a wonderful model of a landcruiser, and modified it to reflect a sense of realism I had come to expect. Including plastic interior, and vinyl stickers on the rear. 


GLADD Art Auction 2012

GLADD Art auction Fall 2012. 


Landing on the Moon. NEIL ARMSTRONG خدا به تو برکت بده G-D BLESS YOU

1:6 model in studio

Arabic information booklet on Space 1970s

Iranian commemorative stamp 1969

I have always been inspired by space exploration. Neil Armstrong's passing signifies a singular moment that transcended petty internal conflict on the planet, and will be remembered in the millennia to follow. Hopefully, we will once again come together as a community in the future if we travel to Mars and beyond. 


Neo Orientalist™ Car

A major undertaking, "Neo Orientalist™ Car" (2012) is the artist's elaborate, one-of-a-kind creation of a unique vehicle embellished with signature Parnes attributes of Neo Orientalism™ (a term trademarked by the artist, in a sharp reminder of the contemporary insoluble transfusion of world cultures and corporate branding). Historically, the luxury brand Mercedes-Benz of German origin has been a preferred car of the Kingdom and its sister regions. For instance, a 1935 model was customized by the manufacturer, with unique particulars such as an 8-cylinder engine, for the former King of Iraq. From the general matte black skin to the minutia of gold-leaf Farsi numerical symbols as well as the interior's authentic Persian royal carpet details, the formidable "Neo Orientalist™ Car" takes us on a journey not only into the mystical past but into the rich cultural imagination of the Middle Eastern kingdoms.