Just outside the smog.
My GPS is broken and I’m relying on my iPhone, precariously balanced between two of my fingers, to help me navigate my way east out of Hollywood to visit with painter Amir H. Fallah in his studio. The sun comes out a few moments before the rain stops as I pull up to his house at the top of a hill. Cacti surround his house and there’s a swimming pool, reminiscent of a David Hockney painting, just past the door to his garage studio. Fallah greets me in flip-flops along with his silvery small dog Baxter.
Fallah’s studio is pristine with cool-toned lighting and red craftsmen cabinets. The painting in progress on the far wall, a portrait, is a fractured image of a reclining person covered completely by a blanket, as though smothered in a shroud.
The pristine serenity of his studio space, encompassing the rough, splintery