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My Two Countries: America & Iran

by Sascha Meier Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2003 at 8:46 AM
Sascha_m@hotmail.com 323.935.2463

Artist John Phillip Nybe (a.k.a. Sam Jon Nayebi) will light up Melrose Lightspace with his latest painting & photography series inspired by his recent journey to Iran last May; "My Two Countries: America & Iran" opens July 26 - 8:00pm at Melrose Lightspace, in Los Angeles.

Born during the summer of love, 1969, Sam Jon’s life is sparked by the friction of the era before the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. Because his father worked for the Shah’s brother and his mother was the daughter of an American Army Colonel it was not possible for him to return to Iran until recently.

With the emotionally charged vision of an exile he was inspired to finally tell his story through the power of Art. On July 26th he will share with the world the glory and the tragedy of America’s encounter with Iran with his paintings & photography series. The paintings on wood panels are inspired by bright bold American pop art and Iranian high art.

His series of photographs taken in Iran show a country that many Americans have not seen: the people; the beautiful and intricate Mosques of Isfahan; and the American Embassy where his grandfather used to work and where the infamous American hostage situation took place.

When asked to describe his work Sam Jon said, “It’s pop art, propaganda, political cartoons with my family in it. Several are painted with exterior house paint and coated in varathane. Buy one, if you don’t put it on your wall, you can use it as lawn furniture. It was built to last and can even withstand a large blast.”

Some of his works include: “An Axis of Evil,” a riveting portrait of the Iyatollah Khomenei, "Son of the Revolution," a unique self-portrait and “The Great Satan,” an electrifying and stunning portrait of George Bush jr.

Sam Jon studied Fine Art at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and Italian Art and Culture in Florence, Italy. He also studied Eastern Philosophy with a Japanese Zen master and martial arts with a Korean martial arts master. Sam Jon is also known as the L.A. Poet Jonny Blackstone.

About Melrose Lightspace
Located in the heart of the Melrose Shopping District in Hollywood, Melrose Lightspace holds cutting edge art exhibitions for many of Los Angeles' leading contemporary artists. The gallery is located at 7600 Melrose Avenue, Second Floor. For additional information, please call 323.935.2463.
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