Arts & Expression, South Asian, Visual Art
Born in Iran in the late 1950s, Khosro Berahmandi was raised in Tehran when the Shah was in power. In his early twenties, during his technical studies at university, he let himself be carried away by the overwhelming sweep of the Iranian revolution and the dream of living in a free Iran. His dream was soon destroyed by the reality of the Islamic Revolution. Deeply affected by the loss of his close friends, he left his native country in 1982.
Khosro completed his first painting in his early twenties on the cover of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment while he still lived in Iran. It would be another two years before Khosro once again picked up paint brushes, shortly after he arrived in Canada as a political refugee following Iran’s Islamic Revolution. He sought an outlet to express the break he felt after leaving Iran, as he entered a space that was quite different from anything he had previously experienced. He discovered painting gave him a new language to communicate with. Khosro soon enrolled at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University), studying with Paterson Ewen. After a short trip to Montréal, he decided that he needed to live in this city that was buzzing with the excitement of an active arts community. Khosro completed his bachelor’s degree at Concordia University. His fervour for visual arts next took him to the University of Paris where he gained a master’s degree in Plastic Arts. The charm of Montréal had not left him and he returned to the city in 1995.
Khosro’s early visual language was based on an expressionistic cry that attempted to portray human despair. Based on his personal experiences, he produced a body of dark abstract expressionistic work that he then desperately destroyed in 1992.
After his studies in Paris and his return to Montréal, he turned his attention towards a more fantasy-based language that would replace the despair and horrific human experience with imagination and dream. He concentrated his attention on Iranian literature and mythology while looking for inspiration in the culture of miniature visionaries of the Indo-Iranian experience of the eleventh to sixteenth centuries.
Since the mid-1990s, he has created a large stylistic body of work that not only reflects on a long ago past but projects the freshness of its ideas. Khosro’s work has been shown in over 30 exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.