Her personality is vivid reflection of the arts, creativity, honesty, and humility. Homa is like a diamond glowing from every angle of her character that could shed a light on humanity.
As soon as you step foot in her house you will see every corner has been touched and crafted by her artistic hands. As you continue further into the home you will come upon a wooden window and if you try to open it to let the vivid light in you will be surprised to discover it is a wonderful painting. If you try to close the woven bag sticking out of the drawers, you will encounter another painting created by Homa Partovi.
The paintings and sculptures hanging on the walls and doors, as well as the engraved images on the table, chairs, and other pieces of furniture, will definitely transfix you deeply. You will become profoundly amazed and confused as you wonder how come such a great painter, writer, researcher, poetry commentator, fashion designer, and popular television hostess who is clad in the famous Iranian scholars like Roomi, Hafiz, and Khayyam lyrics, managed to accumulate such massive knowledge while still remaining so humble and modest.
Javanan: Could you give a perspective of your past activities?
Homa Partovi: As soon as I graduated from college I was approached by the Iranian television channel three- they were looking for a female with a professional appearance and articulate voice.
When I was about fourteen or fifteen years old, I entered a radio contest competing in classic music. I won this contest and when I went to the radio station with my father to collect my prize. All of the radio station staff was astonished as to how a girl so young could be such a prodigy. They asked me to read my lyrics live on the radio.
Years passed by since that recitation, but the senior officials at the radio station, like Mr. Pahlbod and others, still remembered me and tried to track me down. When they finally found me, they were in cooperation with the Iranian television channel number three which was in the process of its inauguration. At the inaugural broadcast, I appeared on the screen after remarks from the Shah was broadcast. Seeing myself on the screen made me so excited that my heart began racing, but I overcame my excitement and continued my program without looking at the script.
I continued poetry reciting on television for years. I showed immense dedication to the poetry recitation in order to raise awareness on the virtues of poetry among the Iranian community.
I was familiar with classical music, which I learned from my dear brother, Hooshang Partovi, and I was entrusted to comment on music in order to elevate the thoughts of human kind to a level of perfection.
When the functional hall of Roodaki became the hub of artistic venues, I attended drawing courses in France specializing in fashion. This helped me expand my activities. I finally managed to bring the ballet with local performances and some operas to the stage.
The stage is like a canvas which could explore the vastness of my imagination and help me paint others with a peace of mind. When the colors and music come to life, moving back and forth on the stage, the stage lights glorify them and I saw the joy and delight in the eyes of the audience.
I thanked my God because I was able to make the hearts of the people happy.
There are thousands of ways to create joy and happiness, but keep in mind that everyone in the universe is tasked with a particular job.
We are not supposed to forget a point brought up by Jale Isfahani: Being joyful is an art, but making others joyful is a masterpiece of art.
Javanan: Why are there some dark points in your work?
Homa Partovi: Darkness is part of our life. Half of the Earth globe is dark every twenty four hours. All trees grow from the darkness of being under the soil and later give life to mankind.
We have no need to fear the darkness; we grab a lantern when we walk through the darkness. This light could be a light for our wisdom and our conscious. In the darkness we always watch our step. When we travel through the darkness and end up in the brightness it is a fantastic feeling.
Javanan: So you believe in a commitment in art?
Homa Partovi: When you hear the word commitment, your mind immediately goes to political and social commitment.
I believe that commitment is an integral part of the arts and that they cannot be separated from each other. For instance, when we watch a painting being created, and the artist has given us a scene of colorful flowers in a basket, there is neither a sign of politics or social issues, but the artist has triggered a spark of light, joy, and serenity to transfer to others and therefore he has remained committed and loyal to his mission as an artist.
No matter which path an artist picks to travel, some are bumpy and some are smooth, but it is highly significant for an artist to be able to communicate between himself and others. When this condition is not met, the artist would not be able to ease the tumultuous hardships in life and give us fresh color and sweet scents.
I have not forgotten that you asked me time and again a question regarding my three dimensional works. You also mentioned how my paintings can deceive your eyes to the extent that you cannot discern if these objects are tangible and can be picked up or just the talented technique of the artist’s brush and paints.
Now we are at a point where you have positively responded to my artistic mission. My works first triggered a spark of light and joy inside of you and I have transferred my intentions and thoughts to you.
If we could see other dimensions in art we would be able to see a more expansive dimension in the universe.
Javanan: There has been lots of talk about your classes, can you briefly talk about them?
Homa Partovi: Many years ago I read a parable that was based in the animal world and revealed this lesson, compare the ant and the elephant and their individual boundaries in running. It is important to know that every animal can exceed the limitations in their strength when their life is jeopardized. It is the ant’s desire and joy of life that prompts them to transcend their limits by one and a half of its normal capacity.
After realizing this fact, I told myself that the capabilities of all living beings are tested from the moment of conception. We are able to use our hidden capabilities, like an icy mountain pulling itself out from a basin on water, and utilize that strength.
I put a great deal of effort into this purpose. I have studied extensively and came up with a combination of western and eastern concepts.
My conclusion was not achieved through psychotherapy (that is not my job), but we can achieve it through a series of simple and smart mental practices without my involvement.
My students use those practices and have been able to discover their hidden capabilities to make themselves calmer through simple concentration. They have created a warm radius in their lives and the sun of their life is warmer and brighter on them.
This practice can cure the body that is exhausted from our machinery based world and be like a massage for your spirit.
Javanan: How do you think the results of this individual betterment will affect society?
Homa Partovi: Every once in a while we forget the fact that, regardless of natural disasters, all Earthly disasters – such as wars, casualties, subversive activities, captive takings, etc., come from the command of humankind and not from the sky.
I am of the opinion that if rage, envy, and hatred could be eliminated from each and every individual, and be replaced with kindness and compassion, our attitude and thoughts would change in the right direction.
With this method of thinking, if we were in a position of power and command status, we would not rule the people with cruelty and tyranny that would ruin their lives.
I have no right to look at this issue from a sociological or psychological point of view because they are not my areas of expertise.
But, if we make an exception for those who are involved in politics and social leaders, that have the ability to write and make remarks to the masses, the remaining members of our society can begin screaming and picking up big stones in order to have democracy established and prevent wars, replacing it with peace. We can also loudly protest against starvation, prostitution, narcotics, human trading, and support the homeless street children.
All of these efforts would get us nowhere, so it is better to take care of these issues locally and make ourselves into well intended individuals.
An ocean always starts from a few drops and this is true for an ideal community which consists of every individual.
Javanan: With your command of anatomy, human reactions, and the technique to create three dimensions, how and where did you learn to draw and paint?
Homa Partovi: My major in school was French Literature and I have inherited my drawing from my ancestors. I prefer that you not ask me how and when I learned to draw, but instead ask what the drawing has taught me.
A drawing starts in your mind, like drops of rain. Then with the help of a brush and paint, I create the images that come to my mind. The fast or slow movement of the brush could dramatically affect my work.
It is true that in our life the basic tools are in our possession and that is the strength of our wisdom. It is up to us on how we use our wisdom.
Javanan: You have repeatedly asserted that you have nothing to do with politics, but if I were to bring it up what would your reaction be?
Homa Partovi: It is not only politics, but any action that can ruin the morality and human values that raises concern for me.
It is the politicians that involve us in war, regardless of the safety of our homeland.
The point is that when a human being in their regular life attacks and kills someone, they would be sentenced to life in prison or capital punishment. Any individual who commits murder is deranged or mentally imbalanced.
If a soldier crosses the battle line and kills as many of the enemy soldiers as he could, then he would be honored with medals of valor.
After World War II, the English composer, Benjamin Britten, composed his immortal masterpiece named “War Requiem” and in it he used lyrics from a fallen soldier. The mentioned fallen soldier called out to the soldier on the other side of the battle line and told him, My friend, I am the enemy that you have killed, but the battle line was drawn by us.
Javanan: Your home is so lovely and wonderful, how did you transform this house into a marvelous museum with a sense of the music of laughing and adorable children throughout your home?
Homa Partovi: You are so kind and compassionate. You have described my small house in such a wonderful manner.
In my accumulation of all these objects each one has its own traits.
If we were to admire an antique jar, dating back two thousand years ago, a turquoise clay pot from a peasant sculptor, or even modern clear cut crystal we would get three different kinds of Karma.
Keep in mind that every individual has their own personality and their own thoughts. When there is harmony between the objects and their owner there will be a nice atmosphere in the home.
When there is no harmony between the objects and their owner, they will be deeply separated.
You will see that there are no precious items in my house, but I have created a marvelous union between me and my objects.
There is no ruler to measure the extreme pain and suffering.
God has given us the gift of two eyes and two ears. At the same time we are able to see the blue sky with only one eye and are able to hear the breeze blowing by or the sound of waterfalls cascading with only one ear, however, we use both of our eyes and both of our ears to enjoy each of these wonders.
Our paths are abundantly covered with spring’s colorful petals, an artist must journey a dark and bumpy path in order to remove the curtain covering the imagination of the human mind.
On the other hand, an artist is a predictor that can keep up with mysteries and metaphors.
For instance, the darkness and ordeal portrayed in some of my works about war and jail is not focused on the use of weapons, poison gases, nuclear bombs, and the prisoners in jail are not always bound in shackles.
It is our internal battles that ultimately drain our potential strength. These jails are made by ourselves and as we focus on the ridiculous scrambling in our life instead of concentrating on the true meaning of life and moving forward humanely.