Since his early 20’s, Ismail Khelalfa has been interested in art as a means of therapy and visual expression. The form and contrast of the work stems from the artist’s fascination with duality and the interaction of opposite phenomena in the world.
Intentionally self-taught before receiving any formal schooling or training; this allowed Ismail to develop his own language. Not without precedent, however, Ismail’s first contact with the world of creativity came at a very young age with his older brother and an uncle being painters. Among many other influences, his favorite artists were his uncle Moussa Khelalfa, Vincent Van Gogh, and Mark Rothko.
In 2012, Ismail enrolled in the Undergraduate Architecture program at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma and graduated in May 2017. The study of architecture and being exposed to unique projects all over the world have greatly influenced Ismail’s work and understanding of spatial context. Among many other influences, the architects that have influenced Ismail’s work the most are Rem Koolhas and Zaha Hadid.
“My goal is to keep taking myself outside of my comfort zone; not to be rigid and stick to a style or form but to be fluid and evolving.”
Zohreh Khaleghi is a renowned contemporary Persian-American artist, poet, journalist, illustrator, designer, teacher, art critic and humanitarian with creations and influence that span the United States and the globe. She is best known for her modern figurative art style, with a special talent for beautifully capturing the human form. Her eclectic compositions and her original approach to art include many genres that speak to and inspire a wide variety of audiences. With contrasting luminosity and shadow, bold colors and soaring dimensionality, Zohreh’s artwork creates an unwavering connection to viewers. Throughout her illustrious career, she has remained highly sought after for commissioned pieces and portraits. Khaleghi’s style is ever-changing, however and she is continuously evolving and experimenting with various mediums and subjects for her compositions. Her artwork features both broad loose brush strokes as well as distinct contours, relaying stunning narratives.