Persi was born in Africa and moved to England at a young age. He is a Persian Zoroastrian who describes himself as a perpetual ‘absolute beginner’. He dutifully went to school for some years before reading German and French at university. He completed an M.A. at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2014.
He smiles with gratitude and respect at the following: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Roger Hilton, Franz Kafka, Aki Kaurismäki, Howard Kendall, Milan Kundera, Steven Morrissey, François Truffaut, Paul Weller. No more heroes any more.
I have no ‘statement’ to make as an artist. I don’t know even if I am an artist. I’m a human being (just) who makes pictures (I think of them as ‘songs’). My current work broaches dialogues, perhaps polylogues, with the songs of my life, the songs whose lines help me to express what I otherwise can’t.
While I consider my visual work musical and a complement to the musical work with which it converses (lines from songs often form the titles of my paintings), it stands just as strongly without the friendship of the music, which is but one way in. My art communicates – mostly in ways I can’t forecast or fathom. It is psychological.
This has all been coming for many years … inside it has been coming. And there is now a sustained and sustainable explosion of active, creative energy.
I don’t want a great deal to do with the traditional frameworks of meaning around me, be they artistic, political, aesthetic or moral. I am deeply sceptical and suspicious of the myths that sustain the stone-cold digital-capitalist machine prevalent where I live, all around me, the one that makes society serve-worship the automata it spawns. There’s no point in believing in a lie.
Although I work in London, I’m not a British artist. I’m (just) a small person who is almost silent … only almost, in largest measure thanks to my picture-songs.