Custodian of Vacancy: Embassy of Iran

My latest photography series, taking a look at the former Embassy of Iran in Washington DC. For detailed information on the history and former state of the structure Alex Aubry has written a concise article on the subject

Withdrawn, silent, and inaccessible the embassy of Iran has been closed for over 12,000 days since the fall of the Shah, and the US embassy hostage crisis of 1979.  The lavish blue tile work, and mirrored ceilings of the interior are slowly crumbling as I gaze into the sealed windows within the courtyard.  Only shadows move within the structure, as nature slowly reclaims it.  The basic renovations enacted by the US government assist in preserving a partial ruin.  This monument is now akin to a memorial, one that is not recognized and never visited.  The moment when the doors closed many days ago, much like a death, I peer inside as an outsider, a metaphor for this American born Iranian.


Egypt Travel Magazine

Egypt Travel Magazine  was produced as the official magazine of the Egypt State Tourism Administration. Featured above is issue No. 18 January 1956.  This magazine's highlight is  a mid century illustration of a wall painting from Egypt's antiquity . The interior features photos of Alfred Hitchcock and Hollywood actress Rhonda Fleming who were visiting Egypt during the period.


Modernist Nowruz Haft-Seen

I was commissioned to provide my interpretation for the Haft-Seen for Nowruz. 


Cereal Box Gifts of Iran

In America one must consider if children actually concerned themselves with the taste of the cereal or the gifts that were packed in the bottom of the boxes. When I was a child, these were cheap plastic items, I seem to recall a submarine.  In the 1950's it appears metal bicycle licence plates from around the world, featuring Iran were all the rage. Notice the prominence of the Iranian men in the upper left!


Topps Flags of the World 1956

 Topps, best known for its baseball cards in the United States, issued this colorful 80 card set of Flags of the World in 1956. I enjoyed looking at the countries represented from the Middle East. Iran seems to be the best depicted in comparison to the others, particularly Syria  in its depiction of a angry Beduin with a sword and Egypt which apparently in 1956 was still building  the great pyramids. 


Tron Legacy and Rose Water Sprinklers

During the IMAX premier in late 2010 one may notice that the set design for Tron Legacy included various non traditional items placed within the "safe house" scenes.  While the design itself has borrowed from some influence from 2001 A Space Odyssey, one can clearly view three silver rose water sprinklers on the table under the mid century lamp.  This was the brainchild of Darren Gilford, the production designer and I believe he did  a magnificent job in development and fabrication this environment.


Hippies in Iran and the Dervish درویش,

A typical representation of the Dervish is of men in white gowns spinning around with tall caps on their head. What one should know is that the Dervish often takes vows of poverty, and would often wonder without material need. This postcard is from 1908 in Iran and shows a very contemporary looking man that could have been photographed 60 years later in San Francisco, or even today...