About the Artist
For Jacob Ebriani, making art is a spiritual act, an intimate conversation between a man
and his God. Jacobʼs paintings are meditations that explore elemental themes underlying
the material world. Sur-naturalism, his signature technique, transcends surrealism with
dreamlike insights into fundamental workings of nature and the human spirit.
Jacob grew up in Tehran surrounded by the sounds of Sufi poetry and mūsīqī-e sonnatī
— Persian classical music. Selected as an artistʼs assistant when he was just ten years
old, Jacob began to transpose that aural tradition into a visual context. While his
instrument is a brush, his canvases have the narrative quality of songs, or poems. But it
was Sufi mysticism, the intoxicating dance with the divine that guided poets like Rumi
and Hafez, that fundamentally shaped his work. “The mystical side of the mind is very
close to music,” says Jacob, “to a beautiful painting.”
Pursuing deeper truths, Jacob strove to paint directly from the soul.“When you come to
realize what is real is beyond the physical, mystical experience becomes so important.
Itʼs part of life — like food. If you donʼt have it every day, something is missing.” He
developed his sur-natural approach in order to disconnect himself from physical, relative
concerns and work in an almost dreamlike state, accessing deeper levels of awareness.
Rather than rendering subjects literally, Jacob acts as a translator, distilling spiritual
themes to their essential forms through the use of mystical imagery. His art explores the
nature of the elemental life force, the connection between man and the universe in all its
aspects — creation, the intersection of heaven and earth, the divine gifts of light and
truth, and masculine and feminine archetypes.
While in Iran, Jacobʼs work began to establish his reputation among both critics and
collectors. But Jacob would not stay to enjoy his success there — on the eve of the
Iranian revolution in 1979, he moved to Los Angeles with his wife and one year old
daughter. In California, Jacob quietly developed a new body of work with a brighter
palette that reflected his adopted home and evoked the inner light and the healing power
of the mystical state. In addition to oils, his preferred medium, Jacob creates sketches
and prints, as well as his own poetry. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows
across Southern California as well as in Italy, Israel and Iran.
In Jacob’s eyes, painting is a revelatory process — a visionary journey into the heart
of his subject, his practice, and himself. “I am always taking longer jumps, always
challenging myself. Painting for me is an act of discovery as much as creation, and one
in which I have uncovered many secrets.” His canvases bear witness to those
discoveries and in return reveal them to the viewer, completing a circle of knowledge.
“Like poetry, my painting is ccommunication — between me and you, between me and
nature, between me and God.”
1961 Kurosh Kabir Society, Tehran, Iran.
1962 Menorah Club, Tehran, Iran.
1963 Iran/America Society, Tehran, Iran.
1969 Haifa Art Center, Haifa, Israel.
1971 Mohebban, Kurosh, Tehran, Iran.
1973 Gote Institute, Tehran, Iran.
1975 Shah Abbas Hotel, Isfahan, Iran.
1976 Kings Hotel, Tehran, Iran.
1978 Tehran Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran.
1979 Galleria Prametro, Rome, Italy.
1982 Jewish Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.
1983 Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, CA.
1984 Hillel, Los Angeles, CA.
1986 Heritage Art Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA.
1989 U.C.L.A. Royce Hall, Westwood, CA.
1993 Haddassah Convention, Los Angeles, CA.
1994 Herzle Temple, Los Angeles, CA.
1995 Magbit Organization, Beverly Hills, CA.
2002 Orlando Gallery, Tarzana, CA
Genre: Fusion/Fantasy Art