Back to News

Advertising professor exhibits at Artspace Gallery

Sep 19, 2019

Posted in: News

By Taylor Burress, Communications Intern

An illustrated comic book panel of fish and birds from the comic
Bizhan Khodabandeh's comic "The Little Red Fish."

Bizhan Khodabandeh’s passion for art and collaboration extends beyond his role as an assistant professor in advertising at the Robertson School of Media and Culture. From educating students to illustrating politically-themed comics to organizing community events, Khodabandeh is always creating.

Khodabandeh delved into the process behind his work at a recent exhibition at Artspace Gallery in Richmond,  including his comics "Yasamin" and “The Little Red Fish.” For the latter, Khodabandeh collaborated with writer James Moffitt.

The comic is similar to "Animal Farm" in the way animals represent various political figures, but he said “maybe not as heavy handed.”

"The best way to describe 'The Little Red Fish' and the most concise way, is to say it's an Orwellian retelling of the Iranian Revolution," Khodabandeh said.

Khodabandeh also recently collaborated with a friend to create an interactive, community “en plein air” event at Monroe Park, near campus. Khodabandeh's friend introduced him to composer Alec Sullivan and the two combined music and outdoor painting.

"Every second Sunday, around the twilight hours, people come to the park to draw and make music," Khodabandeh said. "It's a blast."

"I selfishly thought it was a cool idea and wanted to participate,” he said. “I did an illustration from a vantage point that's kind of a collage of elements of the park."

After researching the decades-old, ornate Monroe Park fountain, along with the types of birds and plant life specific to the area, Khodabandeh recorded himself inking and coloring a design.

Sullivan then created some fragmented compositions for the piece. An ensemble performed the arrangements live to a recorded video of Khodabandeh designing.

The collaborative flow of ideas don't stop there for the duo, who hope to launch more improv-type events in the near future.

"We've been talking about having a live muralist paint on a wall that we build; we've talked about potentially having dancers and musicians responding to each other as a potential thing," Khodabandeh said.

To view Khodabandeh's portfolio, please visit his website.