No Person Learned the Art of Archery From Me Who Did Not in the End Make Me His Target

by Katherine Rodriguez


Farzad Kohan. “Always You Always Love,” (2015). Mixed media on wood panel. 60 x 60 inches.


Hadi Salehi. “Booceh,” (2015). Analog mix.  40 x 30 inches.


Kamran Sharif. “Freedom,” (2015). Bronze, 16.5 x 37 x 16.5 inches.


Marjam Oskoui. “Gunmetal,” (2015). Graphite and acrylic on canvas.  54 x 49 inches.


Bruce Dadpour. “In The Blue,” (2015). Photograph. Dimensions vary.


Babak Emanuel. “Resonance,” (2015). Acrylic, oil, paraffin on canvas. 70 x 76 inches.


Fariba Ameri. “River of Eden,” (2015). Mixed media on canvas. 84 x 72 inches.


Shilla Shakoori. “The Enriching Cycle of Life,”(2015). Acrylic on board.  42 x 36 inches.


Rebecca Setareh. “The Prayer,” (2015). Bronze and rock. 6 x 29 x 5 inches.


Michael Radvand. “Untitled,” (2015). Acrylic on canvas panel. 86 x 68 inches.


Homeira Aframian. “Untitled 2,” (2015). Mixed media and acrylic on board. 34 x 26.5 inches.


Hessam Abrishami. “Without,” (2015).  Ink on board. 36 x 24 inches.

No Person Learned the Art of Archery From Me Who Did Not in the End Make Me His Target

In Anticipation of Art Brief: Iranian Contemporary Opening at Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica Tonight, We Speak to Advocartsy Founder Roshi Rahnama

A person had become a master in the art of wrestling; he knew three hundred and sixty moves in this art, and could exhibit a fresh trick for every day throughout the year. Perhaps owing to a liking that a corner of his heart took for the handsome person of one of his scholars, he taught him three hundred and fifty nine of those feats, but he was putting off instruction of one, and under some pretence deferring it.

“The arts are absolutely boundary-less. It’s the most universal communication means that the world can tap into.” Roshi Rahnama has had a lifelong love affair with the arts, a passion that worked itself out first peripherally with volunteer stints on museum boards and arts councils, and in her own patronage of the arts community. Now, that passion, fully fleshed, has found agency in the form of Advocartsy, Rahnama’s foundation dedicated to the management and advocacy of great artists and their art.

In short, the youth became so proficient in the art and talent of wrest­ling that none of his contemporaries was able to cope with him. At length he one day boasted before the reigning sovereign, saying: “To any superiority my master possesses over me, he is beholden to my reverence of his seniority, and by virtue of his tutorage; otherwise I am not inferior in power, and am his equal in skill” This want of respect displeased the king. He ordered a wrestling match to be held, and a spacious field to be fenced in for the occasion. The ministers of state, nobles of the court, and gallant men of the realm were assembled, and the ceremonials of the combat marshaled. Like a huge and lusty ele­phant, the youth rushed into the ring with such a crash that had a brazen mountain opposed him he would have moved it from its base.

Utilizing the skill-set she developed in her more than 20 years practicing law, Rahnama hopes to serve the arts community by addressing the gaps between artists, galleries, and the community, and bringing them together more readily. “Advocartsy is basically intending to bring about a connection between multiple realms that are working alongside each other that make up what the fine arts realm really is, which is obviously the artists, the platforms that work so hard to bring about awareness or presentation of the arts, the nonprofits that try to accommodate the needs of getting the art to the eyes of the people in a different sense other than commercial, and the community, really.”

Advocartsy’s debut exhibition, curated by Roshi and renowned Los Angeles art critic, Peter Frank, opens December 10th at the Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica. Entitled Art Brief: Iranian Contemporary Los Angeles, the show features 12 artists of Iranian descent. But don’t let the title fool you, this collection—while focused on Los Angeles-based Iranian and Iranian-American artists—speaks to the universality of art, and serves as a representation of the work coming out of Los Angeles as a whole. It is an exhibition that, according to Rahnama, showcases a “realm of expression so wide and varied, it defies any type of stereotyping based on Iranian origin.” Because of her preexisting relationship with the Iranian community in L.A., Rahnama decided that is where she could have the greatest initial impact, and so she chose to focus on artists within that community as a launching pad into the broader arts landscape. Even so, she says, this debut reflects Advocartsy’s greater mission of “bringing together artists, collectors, galleries, and industry visionaries to enrich and expand the fine arts industry.”

The master being aware that the youth was his superior in strength, engaged him in that strange feat of which he had kept him ignorant. The youth was unacquainted with its guard. Advancing, nevertheless, the master seized him with both hands, and, lifting him bodily from the ground, raised him above his head and flung him on the earth. The crowd set up a shout. The king ordered them to give the master an honorary robe and handsome gifts. The youth he addressed with reproach and asperity, saying: “You played the traitor with your own patron, and failed in your presumption of opposing him.” The youth replied: “O sir! my master did not overcome me by strength and ability, but by the one cunning trick in the art of wrestling which he refrained from teaching me. By that little trick he had the upper hand today!”

A short-run exhibition, the show culminates in an art talk on Sunday, December 13th, moderated by both Rahnama and Frank and featuring some of the exhibited artists for a panel talk. Regarding the breadth of the show, Rahnama says they decided on a short-run for impact. “We concentrated on good art—great art—and artists that are very serious about their work, and we put together this show of 12 artists, a show that gives a taste or a view of what is contemporaneously happening in Los Angeles by way of artists of Iranian origin by way of expression.” Emphasizing inspired, quality art and fresh collaborations within the arts community, it is a show not to be missed.

Featured galleries: Seyhoun Gallery (West Hollywood), Abra Gallery (Miami, formerly Westlake Village, CA), and Ayyam Gallery (Dubai).

The master said: “I prepared myself for such a day as this. As the wise have told us, put not so much into a friend's power that, if hostilely disposed, he can do you an injury. Have you not heard what that man said who was treacherously dealt with by his own pupil:

Either in fact there is no good faith in this world, or Nobody has perhaps practiced it in our day. No person learned the art of archery from me Who did not in the end make me his target.”

Shaikh Sa’di Shirazi