Aritst Freydoun Ave was born in 1945 in Tehran, Iran. Ave attended school in England, then studied Theatre Arts at Arizona State University, including a year at the University of the Seven Seas in California (1964). He continued his education at the Film School of New York University (1969–70). Prior to the Iranian Revolution, he worked as a stage and graphic designer at the Iran American Society in Tehran, was resident designer for the National Theatre, Tehran, and was advisor to National Iranian Television and the Shiraz Arts Festival. Between 1974 and 1979 he was acting artistic director of the Zand Gallery in Tehran. After the Revolution in 1979, he created his own alternate space, 13 Vanak Street, which stopped working in June 2009. Ave’s work is represented in various collections in the US including that of Cy Twombly’s Foundation, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum, Tehran; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Lloyds Bank, Geneva. Based in Tehran and Paris.
Ave shared a Seychelles studio with American painter and sculptor Cy Twombly (1928-2011) during the 1990s, citing his mentorship as one of his greatest influences as an artist. The influence of Twombly’s painterly style is clearly evident in Ave’s work, which often features liberally applied paint that drips across and down the composition with a certain abandon. Ave also draws inspiration from classical Persian literature, particularly the knight-hero figure of Rustam who appears in his work as a modern wrestler figure. Rustam is usually pictured by Ave partaking in a Herculean effort as a metaphor for contemporary politics.