Passion Play

Paintings by Mokhtar Paki

by Nazy Kaviani
Last year, my good friends Sepideh Khosrowjah and Hamid Ehya invited me to go to a play with them in Berkeley, along with Ari Siletz and extraordinary painter, Mokhtar Paki. We had such a good time at the play. Afterwards, we went over to Mokhtar’s place to have chai-o-shirini. What a delightful and gracious Shirazi he was! We talked for hours and looked at Mokhtar’s works. Before I left, I made him promise to let me do a photo essay on him. Last week I called to see if he could make good on that promise. What would a good Shirazi do when someone calls and invites herself over? He accepted! My timing couldn’t have been better. Mokhtar has a new show, Passion Play, coming up between July 3rd and 30th at San Francisco’s Canessa Gallery. Mokhtar Paki's website:

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Nazy Kaviani

Thank you!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Dear Bambi, Monda, and Anonymouse:

Thank you for coming and commenting.

Monda Jan, let me know if you want to go to Mokhtar's exhibition and we can go together.

Anonymouse Jan, I know for a fact that many of Mokhtar's works are in other people's homes.


Ahhhhh an Architect! Wonderful art work, real "gems", literally!

by Anonymouse on

What does he do with all these paintings?  Having lost a love one not too long ago, I've been thinking about life and death a lot and know this world is not for ever and we all leave it and can't take anything with us.

Everything is sacred


Broad range in perception

by Monda on

I especially enjoy Paki's bold but dreamlike images of nude women and men, the Royals, Mossadegh And that rose in 31 didn't leave me all day either. Beautiful photo essay of Mr. Paki's work.  Thanks for sharing Nazy jan.


don't like

by bambi on

There were too many details and with no clear artistic direction in most of the images.  I found  his chosen colors, and  color combinations dull.  I don't know what it is about some men painters, sometimes they have the urge to put too much in their paintings.  A simple line can speak clearer and strongrer, than a  full canvas of confusing lines and images.  The paint application also seemed  tired and worked over. 

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Oktaby

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you! I hope you can go to see Mokhtar's exhibition in San Francisco next week. If you go on the opening day or come to the Artist Reception on July 11, from 1 to 4 pm, I'm sure you can meet him in person and chat about his brilliant and sensitive take on life and politics.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Omid

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for visiting and for leaving a comment. Yes, I know Jahanshah has been following Mokhtar's art throughout the years, doing photo essays of his new collections as they become available. I think you will love knowing Mokhtar Paki, Omid! He is such a nice and warm Shirazi man, and he is full of hope and laughter in person. My original submission of this piece had a lot more text and photos in it and Jahanshah edited it drastically to make it shorter and more appealing no doubt! I would like to put an anecdote he told me about his life here, which was among the omitted text, knowing that you would appreciate it.

"I was in a horrific car accident about ten years ago. Nobody could believe that I survived that car crash. I walked out of that horrible scene, smiling. When the paramedics came and they were trying to test my lucidity and health, one of them asked me if I needed anything."

"I said I wanted a beer. He said no, you can’t have that, we have to take you to the hospital."

"Two weeks after the accident, I went to a pub with my friend. I had a beer. As I took my first gulp, I started crying. I knew my life had changed forever. I have been able to see the beauty of life ever since. This world is beautiful. My life is beautiful."

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Ari

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your kind and as usual very observant comment. Mokhtar's new paintings, many of which were done after the June 2009 uprising, are superb expressions of shock, sadness, and hope, just as we all felt. There are images of prison rape and abuse and peaceful expressions of hope on streets and rooftops. Each one of his paintings has so much detail which can be studied and it's easy to go on a treasure hunt for hours while different stories and symbolisms are discovered and deciphered. I know you will absolutely love seeing them at his upcoming exhibition.



by oktaby on

6, 10, 19, 52... but all worth a second & third look

Nice post Nazi 


Omid Hast


by Omid Hast on

Mokhtar Paki’s paintings are beautiful; they are a joy to the eyes.  His passion for the people in distress is so amazing.
I was surprised to find out that he is a writer also.  I must read his books. He has been featured in the old iraniandotcom a few times before.

Here is a link to his archive: //

There is also another link to some paintings related to Majid Tavakkoli: //

Ari Siletz

Talent, wit, intellect, compassion...mystery

by Ari Siletz on

Thanks Nazy for this wonderful photo essay. Mokhtar Paki is many artists in one, Painter, writer, and lover of life. His paintings are on a par with the works of the composer Bartok who took simple folk melodies and developed them into spectacularly sophisticated classics. 


Since last June I have been curious as to how Paki's brush would react to the Iran upheaval. I must say, the work (#10) is the most genuinely rooted in Persian culture that I have seen so far. As with all his works, Paki's modern concerns maintain their continuity with our history going back several centuries. His works have vast dimensions in the mystries of time, space, color, dream, thought and sensation.  A hundred years from now #10 and #36 could seamlessly sit next to each other in a gallery. Because despite the daily illusion of sudden news and events, history is seamless. Paki's brush knows this and shows this.

So many amazing paintings. Thanks again.