Arsalan Darbandi doesn’t limit himself to one type of art. Darbandi, 20, uses everyday “found” objects, as well as delving into many other mediums, to create his art. “Galactic Road Kill” and “The Owl” are two of his pieces that hang in the Starbucks by the Vue housing building.
Arsalan Darbandi doesn’t limit himself to one type of art.
Darbandi, 20, uses everyday “found” objects, as well as delving into many other mediums, to create his art. “Galactic Road Kill” and “The Owl” are two of his pieces that hang in the Starbucks by the Vue housing building.
“Art reflects my perception of the world,” Darbandi said. “I see art everywhere. Anything people would usually consider trash, I like to turn into art.”
Darbandi studies sculpture, drawing, painting and poetry at PSU. Some of his pieces hang on the walls of the Green Onion Restaurant as well as two campus Starbucks.
When speaking of sculpture, he said, “Sometimes visions come in 3-D. The sculpture is child’s play. You move things around till you get it right.”
He has other thoughts on different art forms.
“The pen is power,” he said about poetry before reciting a poem on the spot. “I will give you one: Everyone must eat five gods a week.”
His art hits on topics like religion, and features images such as faces that seem to melt together in circular patterns.
Leaving the Azerbaijan region of northern Iran, Darbandi arrived in Portland in September 2005. He learned English by working odd jobs throughout Europe and the Middle East. His parents joined him later in Portland.
Sousan Dalai, owner of the Green Onion on the corner of Southwest Jackson Street and Southwest Broadway helped foster Darbandi’s art, and commissioned, among others, “Grand Opening of the Green Onion Jazz Club.” The piece is a ten-foot long mural-drawn in color chalk-that hangs across the front of the restaurant’s bar and depicts instruments, faces and shapes.
For his first year in Portland, Darbandi was a customer at the Green Onion, but soon became friends with Dalai and eventually started working there.
He lives just behind the Green Onion and can easily walk to any of his three jobs or his classes.
“He is a hard-working, dedicated, artistic young man,” Dalai said. “He has become the kind of employee I can really count on.”
“It is amazing how many students know him,” said Sarah McPherson, manager of the Starbucks at Sixth Avenue and Jackson Street, where Darbandi also works. “I think more students know him than any other employee we have ever hired.”
“I am just trying to pay the bills,” said Darbandi.