The Influence of Picasso on Hessam Abrishami

When Hessam Abrishami burst on the art scene in the late 1970s with his first exhibition in Italy, he created an immediate sensation with his vibrant, colorful paintings that conveyed life, love and relationships on a single canvas. The art community and the general public immediately fell in love with Abrishami’s bold yet playful depictions of the human condition.

But art aficionados also saw something else. They saw the influence of one of the masters of modern art, an artist who revolutionized the art world and left a lasting impact, including on a young boy in Iran. In the work of Hessam Abrishami, many people see the hand of the great Pablo Picasso.

Morning Glory- Hessam Abrishami
Morning Glory- Hessam Abrishami

Abrishami’s work is, for sure, not a direct copy of Picasso, but the influence is definitely there. In fact, Abrishami himself has often spoken of his admiration for Picasso and how he (along with Paul Cezanne) has shaped his approach to art. The result is a uniquely original version of the deconstructed - but still decidedly human forms - which Picasso first brought to the world.

From his upbringing in Iran to his artistic studies in Italy, Hessam had been intrigued by the work of the European masters. Indeed, he considered Italy, where he attended art schools, to be the center of the European art world. And in Picasso – as well as Cezanne, Matisse and others – Abrishami found the centers of his own personal art world. The Cubist impact, as well as the work of Picasso’s African-influenced period, are evident in Abrishami’s work.

Picasso’s influence in Abrishami’s work can be clearly seen in such pieces as “Morning Glory”, which depicts four figures, at least three presumably women, gathering for an occasion. One figure holds a guitar while two others embrace; some appear clothed with one appearing nude. Bright colors and a hint of cubist elements give the painting life. The composition is not unlike Picasso’s famous “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon”, which also depicts a group of figures (in Picasso’s case, all women) gathered in various states of dress. The painting also contains small elements of cubism and is considered Picasso’s first steps into the style.

Innocent Heart- Hessam Abrishami
Innocent Heart- Hessam Abrishami

Elsewhere, Abrishami’s “Innocent Heart” echoes Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist”, one of his most famous paintings from his “blue period”. In Abrishami’s work, a woman appears to be in a state of slumber, dozing off while holding a guitar. There is a bird perched on her knee, or rather the outline of a bird. In Picasso’s painting, the old man is in a similar seated position on the floor also holding a guitar, but leaning in the opposite direction. Abrishami makes no effort to hide his admiration for Picasso’s work, even giving his figure a blue guitar as an obvious nod to the master.

There are several other paintings by Abrishami that pay homage to and borrow from Picasso, but they still manage to stand on their own as impressive works of art. Like Picasso, Hessam art will stand the test of time.

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Comments 3 comments

cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 3 years ago from Northfield, MA

Thanks for sharing this. Abrishami's work is amazing! I had never heard of him before and now I am curious to learn more about him and his work. Thanks again.


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks cabmgmnt! I'm thrilled to introduce you to a new artist - so glad you enjoyed the hub! Thanks for stopping by :)


Melanie 3 years ago

Yuck ! What you describe from Hershey Lodge is NOT a grleild cheese. It's an Apple Brie Sourdough sandwich.A grleild Cheese sandwich is what it is. People should feel free to eat any grleild sandwich they want but don't call it a Grilled Cheese in the historical sense.Would you take some chopped steak then add Cheddar or Brie, asparagus, red peppers and Oregano then call it a Philly Cheesesteak ? No you'd call it a Veggie Steak sandwich or something else. But you can't take a classic sandwich, switch all the ingredients and then sill call it that classic name !

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