What’s the main idea behind this work?
This features my historical hero, Mohammad Mossadegh, prime minister of Iran (1951-1953), looking through classified pages for a job.
What are they searching for?
I’ve taken a historical character and humanised him for a contemporary setting, where Mossadegh, now detached from politics, is looking for a menial job. Humour is an important ingredient and even my heroes are subject to my dry sense of humour. Mossadegh’s trousers are the colours of the Union Jack – I did this intentionally to represent Mossadegh’s Western education and the fact that Winston Churchill and an Anglo-Persian oil company, now British Petroleum, did all they could to overthrow him.
This painting seems to feature people from many walks of life.
The women in the painting are both traditional and Western. Mossadegh is sitting between both. They all have diametrically opposing vistas and this can allude to anyone’s predicament in the Middle East. The dictionary on the table is the only item than can translate the two different lifestyles.