Khosrow Azarpour was born and raised in the ancient city of Hamedan (its ancient name is Hegmataneh), in the west of Iran. He became fascinated with nature and its amazing beauties since he was a young boy, while visiting his grandfather’s ranch in the rural areas during summer vacations. His father was a school teacher, teaching history and literature, but, he loved to paint as a hobby. His great grandfather used to be an official royal artist, painting at the order of the King of Persia. Thus, painting has been in the family’s blood and gene! However, his father always opposed Khosrow picking up painting as his career and wanted him to become an engineer instead. Not wanting to disappoint his father, Khosrow, reluctantly set aside his dreams and pursued engineering.
He finished high school and entered university. After graduation as an agricultural engineer, he entered the job market. It was then that he was able to dedicate more time to his passion for art. He was taught the principles of painting by a master who himself had learned painting in Russia. But, unfortunately, that didn’t last long, as an anti-monarchy revolution broke out in Iran in 1979, which toppled the Shah of Iran and ended the 2500 years of monarchy. Despite the hopes and dreams of the Iranian people who were yearning for more freedom and democracy, the new regime fell in the hands of the most fundamentalist elements of the society. Gradually, even the most basic social and personal freedoms which people enjoyed during the Shah disappeared under the rule of the religious clergy. As an artist and as an intellectual, Khosrow could not tolerate the new circumstances and joined the opposition groups who were fighting the new regime. It wasn’t long before he was arrested by the security forces and convicted for treason in a phony trial and sentenced to death.
It was almost like a miracle that the first Persian Gulf War, between Iran and Iraq, started and he could escape the prison, which had been bombed and destroyed by the enemy missiles and airplanes. He lived in hiding for a while, and then he found a way to escape the country to the neighboring Turkey. For that, he had to hike for eight days in the dangerous mountainous regions, and mined fields between the two countries. From Turkey he managed to go to Paris, France and lived there for a while. This was like a dream come true for Khosrow. Although, financially, he had a tough time there, he had the opportunity to go back to painting. He joined the amateur and professional artists, working near Mon Mart Church. He found many good friends and gained a great experience in painting during the eight months living in Paris. He also took part in a local exhibition there.
Finally, an opportunity came about for Khosrow to migrate to the land of opportunity, the United States in 1986. He reluctantly, left the artists’ land of Paris and moved to the states for family and personal reasons. In the U.S., he had to stay away from painting and focus on making the ends meet. It’s been just a few years since he has been more stable financially, and been able to pursue his passion and dream again. With the encouragement of his wife, Khosrow joined San Francisco Academy of Arts in 2007, while creating many pieces of arts in the meantime, mostly reflecting his life experience and background.