With every stroke of the brush, Cyrus Afsary adds something of his should to a painting.
Although his specialty is portraits, Afsary's subject have varied from landscapes to still lifes. He enjoys working in oil, and sometimes also works with watercolors and pastels.
Afsary relies on his strong technical skills when identifying and placing the colors and values in each piece, but he adds something more tangible with each brush stroke. His work began to be noticed in the early Eighties, when his incredible style attracted the attention of Western art aficionados. Afsary's paintings have won many award, including the first Robert Lougheed Memorial at the 1988 National Academy of Western Art Exhibition. Other awards are Exceptional Merit Award at the 1986 Pastel Society of America Exhibition and a merit award at the Northwest Rendezvous, and Best of Show from Oil Painters of America.
Afsary ws born and raised in the Middle East, enrolled in an art conservatory at age 15. He studied art in college, where he received classical instruction and painted primarily in oils. Afsary was also earning money with his paintings, having begun to sell portrait commissions while still in his teens.
Afsary's later works included portraits of several celebrities--Sylvester Stallone, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Susan Anton--as well as Wayne Newton's horse, Aramis.
Afsary moved to the United States when he was in his early thirties. "I'll never forget how hard it was to leave my friends and memories," he says. His excitement at living in the land featured in the Western movies he had watched as a young man, however, quickly replaced any misgivings he might have had in leaving his homeland. "I'm privileged to be an American. I left the Middle East for many reasons." At the top of that list was the opportunity to pursue his art, which was influenced by the Russian masters of the old school, and the classical and traditional backgrounds of artists such as Hya Repin and Valentin Serov.
(Watch here for images of Cyrus Afsary's work available through the Lee Youngman Galleries.)