Emel Sherzad’s Paintings Bring Peace and Amplify Iranian Culture

MEET THE ARTIST: Emel Sherzad is a Persian artist and musician now living in Minnesota. While art has been a part of his family for generations, Sherzad has developed his own path in art as a painter.

Sherzad’s pieces are constructed from layers of paint and ideas, with the final product something that is unrecognizable from his first brush strokes. “Every layer is kind of like an intervention that almost obliterates the previous layer. It reminds me of the fragility of every moment,” Sherzad describes.

This aspect of his work is inspired by other Persian creative works like Persian literature, Sufi poetry, and composure, other arts that shape into completely new things throughout the creation process. “The process of creation has something magical about it,” he shares.

For Sherzad, art is his family legacy, but it’s also a spiritual quest. Additionally, he voices that art helps him make peace with change and upheaval in the world.

“Persian culture is old and rich. It has been overshadowed…by the politics of the last half-century,” he explains. “However, art, food, [and other creative forms] present the culture as it is in its most spiritual and human form.” Sherzad adds that creative works are a way to build connections, both across his personal identities and cultures across the world. “[Art] is a good vehicle to remind people of the sameness across cultures.”

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