Born in Tehran, Iran, Ali’s earliest childhood memories are of drawing and painting with oil and color pencils. Ali’s talent with painting was instantly visible, and his obsession began. As a boy, he chose to spend endless hours painting and developing his talent, a gift which came freely and naturally, and one he trusts was inherited from birth and passed down from his great grandfather, a well-known calligrapher in Iran. Ali created his first oil painting at the age of five. By age thirteen, Ali won a prize for Best Painting in his first art competition in Tehran, Iran.
In 1977, he and his family immigrated to Alamo, California where he attended Monte Vista High School in Danville. Ali focused on art and drama and was responsible for stage design and decorating the school plays, receiving many art and drama awards for his work.
Ali earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree (1984) and Masters degree in Architecture (1988) from the University of California, Berkeley. Collegiate awards include the Architects Collaborative (TAO) Award for Best Design (1981) and two consecutive Bakewell & Brown/Bakewell & Weihe prizes for Best Drawings of Decorative Detail and Ornament in Architecture. He also won two consecutive Fellowship, Scholarship Awards from 1986 through to 1988. He was also a Teacher’s Assistant in the School of Architecture.
Following graduate school and while working with well-known architects in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ali continued painting and drawing. In 1990, he returned to Tehran to visit and teach architecture at one of the universities. Upon his return and with a personal rediscovery of his Persian heritage, the artist Ali continues to explore the calm, warm, sand colored pallet of Middle Eastern architecture on his canvas.
In the years following his return from Iran, his paintings traveled between the US, Canada, Iran, and South America with exclusive exhibitions in Tehran, San Francisco, Carmel, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. Meanwhile, Ali maintained his own private architectural practice in the Bay Area for 15 years. During this time, he designed numerous residential projects including high-end retail sites and Tiffany’s window displays. Inspired by his architectural background and interests, Ali focused on a series of drawings and paintings that demonstrated his desire for the viewer to recognize the ambiguity of his artwork.
In addition to his love for art and architecture, Ali also has a deep passion for scuba diving. This hobby helped him discover his love of tropical fish which inspired many of his colourful and fantastic underwater illustrations. Ever since his early encounters with the underwater world, Ali has been truly captivated by the vastness of the ocean, and as a result, has continued to focus on the underwater scene until today.
Most of his time creating his paintings has been during the solitude and quietness of night. Thus, his underlying concentration gained a connection to his senses that not only transpires within his paintings but has also aided in the development of his own architectural style. This unique style acts as poetic descriptions, explaining much of the profound metaphors within his compositions.
While the future of his art is unknown, what can be assured is the determination that he has to his undying obsession.
One could say that this mysterious artist possesses a rare combination of extraordinary talent, unpredictability, and pure artistic nature to set his name in the history books of tomorrow. Yet for now, Ali keeps far from the crowd, shrouded in his studio, painting every night from midnight until morning.