September 9, 2017 - October 10, 2017 Ramin Samandari
Iranian-born photographer Ramin Samandari arrived in Odessa, Texas in 1978 at age 17, sent there by his parents in the midst of the Iranian revolution. Samandari thought he might return to his homeland in a few years with a medical degree, but then the Iran-Iraq War broke out, so he renewed his U.S. visa, eventually got a green card, and in 1990 he became a U.S. citizen. A resident of San Antonio since 1988, Samandari decided in the early '90s to pursue photojournalism, so he took some courses at San Antonio College and started freelancing for local news publications. Although he was enjoying the assignments, a problem kept emerging when he presented his photos to his editors—they were just too artful for the daily press. So, he shifted focus and has practiced fine art photography for over twenty years. Throughout the '90s, Samandari exhibited mostly in theater lobbies and at restaurants in San Antonio and Austin. Between 2000 and 2001, he had solo exhibitions at the University of Incarnate Word's Center for Spirituality, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Carver Cultural Art Center and the San Antonio Museum of Art. He has been a stalwart of the San Antonio art scene ever since. His work has been exhibited at The Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, UTSA gallery, Southwest School of Art, Artpace, City of San Antonio Department of Culture and Creative Development and many private galleries. Samandari’s work is in the permanent collection at San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio. His studio, Magical Realism is located in the Blue Star Art Complex.
Artist Statement My intention is to present as diverse a group as possible, all ages, genders, shapes and sizes and to show that all bodies have beauty regardless of shapes and sizes, gender and age.