Vice Merchant Interview: Shahrad Malekfazeli

Posted by Luis Paredes on

Shahrad Malekfazeli

“I’m a man of vision. Views inspire me. I like to gaze at cigar smoke. The way it dances in the air until it fades away.” - Shahrad Malekfazeli.

Hopping onto Shahrad Malekfazeli’s Instagram feed, you are treated to Art in action. There are dozens of photos and videos of him creating stunning portraits, still lifes, sketches and shared snapshots of him at work. It’s a real treat in a social media world filled with ads and empty hashtags.

Shahrad is a classical artist with a penchant for some of our favorite things – cigars and whiskey. He often relaxes with a good stick after spending 10+ hours at a canvas. We caught up with him to learn more about his art and what he enjoys about cigars.

Shahrad, could you tell us a little bit about your artwork that we see in the photograph?

The artworks on the wall are mine, but I put a work of an old Master, Ilya Repin, which I reproduced while ago just to study his brushes. There is no end to art and practicing old Master’s techniques are essential for every artist until his last breath.

Are cigars a regular treat or a luxury that you take part in sparingly?

I smoke cigars occasionally and when I do, I choose the best. I like the smoking style. It inspires me.


Do you often smoke while creating and painting?

Not really. You know, executing an artwork with classical style requires a tremendous amount of time and sacrifice. You need to work very hard, 10 hours a day sometimes. Sometimes you need to relax in between or afterwards. And a high-quality cigar accompanied with a glass of fine whiskey would be a great treat.

What is it about cigar smoking that you enjoy? Any favorite brands of cigars?

I’m a man of vision. View inspires me. I like to see the smoke. The way it dances in the air until it fades away. Sometimes I feel that I’m creating an artwork, with each puff. And the aroma. It really evokes my mind. No favorite brand so far. I’m a little new to this. For now, I’m searching and trying. And it’s so much fun to search among the best to find your style.

What’s the cigar you’re smoking in the photo?

It’s a fine hand-made cigar which I bought a few years ago from Dominican Republic.

What brands are in your humidor?

It sounds funny but I don’t have a humidor. I usually put them in the fridge. But, while ago I saw a special collector’s edition Scarface pack that caught my eye. I may purchase it in the near future.

Shahrad Malekfazeli cigar, whiskey and art supplies

We know you are also a whiskey fan, what is it about whiskey that you enjoy?

I love whiskey. Any kind. From scotch to bourbon. But, I’m usually into single malts. The taste, the aroma, the notion that it represents and the way it frees my mind from boundaries. I get inspired from a fine glass of whiskey and it makes me create my art better.

What’s next for you in the art world?

My next project is to participate in an exhibition in Spain and do a nude workshop there. And as always, managing my classes, taking care of my students and inspire from the world to create artworks.

Learn More About Shahrad Malekfazeli


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