I was six years old when the crown was replaced by the turban and my world was forever altered. Some years and several countries later I found a desperate need to look into the eyes of those who gave shape to Iran so as to catch a glimpse into my own destiny, and that of my country of birth. At first I focused on painting the portraits of pre-revolutionary Iranian political figures, but I was soon drawn to 19th and early 20th century Western travelogues. I found inspiration in this need to understand Iran and its relationship to the West. At the same time I felt a need to focus on the image that Iranians have of themselves and, in this respect, I was drawn to the “Shahnameh,” Ferdowsi’s “Book of Kings,” completed in 1010. What intrigued me were the lessons this epic poem offered, even though it is an ‘unfinished work,’ at least from a contemporary point of view. These two literary strains, preoccupied my thoughts and my artistic output.