is present in the classic Mediterranean scenes of Bob Pejman's
paintings--only the viewer. The table set for two at a restaurant
on the Amalfi Coast represents an invitation to the onlooker
to place themselves and their desired companion within the setting.
It is the effect of beauty and solitude
together that creates this romantic mood that Pejman wishes to
offer collectors of his work. He travels to Italy when he can
to bring back in his mind images of its classic architecture
and the passage of time worn layer by layer on its ancient stones.
His palette reflects the terracotta green of the canals, azure
blue of the coastline, earth tones of the country. "I don't
paint for myself. I make paintings that I want people to appreciate
and enjoy," says Pejman.
Inspiration for his style, that he
likens to romantic realism, comes from the Hudson River School,
the classic landscapes of Thomas Cole and Frederick Church, the
utopias of Maxfield Parish, and above all, from the Victorian
artist Laurens Alma-Tadema, known for his theatrical paintings
of Roman ruins.
"I've always loved traditional
art, and have a fascination with architecture and perspective," he
says. "My work is not photo-realistic, but is a mix of realism
and imagination. I considered myself to be a traditionalist--so
I get drawn to the past a lot."
Pejman spent his early childhood
in Europe, where his father studied as a classical composer
at the Vienna Academy of Music, while his mother played the harp
in the Vienna Philharmonic.
which soon added a brother and sister, moved to Tehran when commissioned
by the Shah of Iran to compose operas and ballets as head of
the music department.
Music flowed through the home, it
was all around him. But Bob's real interest lay in painting and
drawing. This continued through high school, which Bob attended
in New Jersey after the family immigrated to the United States in '76.
"My favorite class was art," he
recalls. He also taught himself to play the piano at 15, and
wrote music for the Jazz and marching bands at Summit High School, NJ.
His father, however opposed a career in either art or music for
his son, saying it would be hard to make a living. In a corporate
job, he rationalized there would be a steady paycheck.
Bob listened to his father, and signed
up at Rutgers University to study computer science. His arts
instructor on the other hand did not think he was listening to
his heart, rather following security. To this end, Bob earned
a double major; computer science and music. At college he helped
form the New Wave band X-Dream. They played clubs and bars and
even made a record. His greatest hobby is still playing the piano
and collecting soundtrack music.
went on into the corporate world where he saw success, becoming
vice president of marketing for a software company.
At this time his mother, Homa opened
Pejman Gallery in Short Hills, NJ and asked Bob to become a partner. "She
needed someone to help her," he explains. "And this
sparked my interest in art again." He was then 28, and had
not touched a paintbrush in 11 years. Many of the paintings in
the gallery were by European artists. "I looked at them,
and I felt I could have been one of these artists. So I bought
a paint set and canvas and started to paint again." But
he was rusty--so he sought out the help of Anatoly Ivanov, one
of the artists represented in the gallery who lived nearby and
could teach Pejman to paint in a classical style. this was all
done in his spare time from his full-time corporate job.
Then, in 1993, Pejman Gallery gave
him a one-man show. He sold seven acrylic on canvas paintings
priced between $10,000 and $15,000. "This was much better
than I thought I would do. So I decided to take it up seriously."
In addition to studying with Ivanov,
Bob also studied with the well-known Armenian Impressionist and
colorist Ovanes Berberian. While Ivanov influenced the development
of his classical style of painting, Berberian influenced his
color palette to be that of impressionistic. The result is a
blending of impressionistic colors and techniques to achieve
a classical yet contemporary style.
Bob also attended the New York Art
Student's League in 1993 and
focusing his studies on drawing and human anatomy. The following
year, 1995, he founded his art publishing company, Pejman Editions
International. Four years later, he left the corporate world
to pursue his art and publishing career on a full time basis.
His studio is combined with his publishing
business in a 3,000 square foot space in Whippany, NJ. Here he
divides time between painting, now oils on canvas; hand-embellishing
the deluxe editions and overseeing the publishing operation. "I
am involved from concept to completion--from color correcting
in Photoshop, to stretching, to embellishing," says Bob. "Every
step of the way is done under my supervision so that I know exactly
what goes out to the galleries."
His prints are available in three
forms. Deluxe editions of 395 each in two sizes, with only one
or two images released each year. These are all hand embellished
by Bob Pejman himself. Recently introduced is the Signature edition
line of embellished prints, in two sizes. The edition for each
size is 595 with 45 APs, the latter embellished by Bob. The Classic
Collection is a line of miniature open editions prints measuring
9 by 12 inches.
Pejman's work can be found incorporate
and private collections throughout the world, and is available
through select galleries in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas
and Maui. Pejman's oils on canvas sell for $5,000-$50,000.
To reach Pejman Editions International,
log onto the website: www.PejmanEditions.com