Reza Derakshani (born 1952) is a multi-talented painter, poet, musician and performance artist. Derakshani was born in Sangsar, a small village in the North East of Iran, close to the ancient Khorasan. His nomadic childhood, growing up at the top of a mountain in a black tent among horses and fields of blue and yellow wild flowers, had a significant impact on his artistic perception of natural beauty. A child prodigy, Reza Derakshani received his first commission at the age of nine and held his first solo exhibition at the age of 19 at the renowned Ghandriz Art Gallery in Tehran, going on to exhibit internationally.
The artist became engrossed in Abstract Expressionism while living in New York and was soon associated with the revival of painting in the USA and Europe in the 1980s through the Neo-Expressionist style. Whilst being loosely affiliated to the movement and evolving in New York artistic circles with fellow artists and friends Francesco Clemente, Shirin Neshat, Alessandro and Cy Twombly, the experience of emigration led Derakshani to reconnect with his Iranian roots. After experimenting with pure abstraction, the artist devised his personal artistic style blending abstract and figurative elements from both Western and Eastern cultures, thereby creating an idiosyncratic oeuvre at the confluence of civilizations.
Reza Derakshani is known both in the Middle East and in the West as one of the most significant contemporary Iranian artists. His work features in many public art collections including the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Derakshani also performed as a musician in numerous museums and festivals such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Montreux Jazz Festival among others. He currently lives and works in Austin, USA.