Shiva Varzgar, Artist


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Shiva Varzgar (SHIVA) was born into a highly educated family in Iran, the land of poetry and civilization dating back to 4000 B.C. He spent his childhood in Iran and moved to Vienna, Austria at the age of 18. He entered the Technische Universitaet (Vienna University of Technology) to study Architecture and Fine Arts and graduated as a Diplomingenieur (Master of Science) in 1974. In the meantime, he was an Assistant to Professor Rudolf Eisenmenger of the Institute for Drawing and Painting. While he was studying architecture, he became fascinated with drawing and painting. As a result, he started painting extensively and later he chose this as his ultimate career to satisfy his profound and vast spirit of humanity and art.

Shiva has exhibited his poetic pictorial creations worldwide and has been admired by the public as well as the media in Europe, Iran and the United States of America. The artist incorporates life and spirit into his masterpieces. His breathtaking paintings, composed of organic and geometric elements are illuminating, enchanting and inspiring.

Philosophizing with Shiva is as if one were taken by the hand and led out into a distant land, finding oneself transported into the inner world of the artist. Shiva is unique in his ability to create atmosphere, be it by choosing the marshy cotton grass meadows of his beloved Rauchwart (in the Austrian province of Burgenland), the bustling bazaar in Istanbul, the old trees of the land of poetry, Shiraz, or the magnificent site of civilization and culture, Isfahan.

His impressions are always characterized by his deep and loving appreciation of nature. The artist follows the rules of nature in all his works, he searches out mysteries and observes beauty and life around him. He wants to attain a better and more perceptive insight. Shiva sees himself as a part of this all-embracing order and has come to terms with himself as such. The inner discipline and balance of his work are to be understood as an expression of a pondered and conscious decision to bond himself with the wonders of nature. There is no end to his creative imagination.

His paintings are the reflections of the glory and glamour of the universe in a wide spectrum. His paintings are naturalistic, realistic and optimistic having the scents of humanity, unity, solidarity and prosperity. He conveys a feeling of personal happiness when he feels the landscapes opening up to him, the clouds dividing before him and the enchanting colors disclosing themselves. And fascinated by the paths of his own imagination, the artist registers the spontaneous impulse to realize something of his ideas through art.

His self-imposed bounds are the main elements in his pictures: water, tree and bird completed by man-made forms like square, triangle and parallel lines. The choice of those motifs supplies a key to his symbolic language, which makes up an important part of his philosophical painting. Shiva places his elements in the eternal cosmic entity. The artist makes his compositions in a way which creates in the observer an awareness of the ways in which nature functions.

Water, tree and bird are prominent features in Persian culture and paintings. The physical and biological laws and effects of water fascinate Shiva, as does the sense of eternity of its circulation. In Shiva's paintings, the water represents continued existence, the tree embodies the impermanence of the individual life and is a single cosmos in its own right, and the bird is the ruler of the skies. The movement of water reflects the force of nature, the color of trees clearly embodies organic existence and rebirth, the elevation of birds is an escape into freedom from the unpredictability of the individual's life.

The square as a symbol of the figure of four signifies the world itself. The triangle is the sign of friendship and the minimal basis of society. The parallel lines symbolizes mankind's love for the universe.

Shiva is a versatile artist who has also applied art to architecture and architecture to art. He has designed jewelry, has initiated painting on watch-faces, has adorned cars, furniture and porcelain with his motifs and has painted frescoes. The artist's rich Persian heritage combined with his European cultural tradition make his oeuvre captivating and mesmerizing.

Unfortunately, on January 16, 2011, Shiva left this mundane world and went to an eternal life after a massive heart attack. His sudden death took him physically away from his art lovers, but his arts will remain perpetually. His unexpected demise has been a devastation for his family and friends who will be mourning for him forever. His loss is a loss in the world of art. However, Shiva has left many outstanding works of art behind, which will keep his memory alive.