Michael Partow was born in Isfahan, the cultural hub of Iran. He started drawing and painting at a very early age, and had his first one man exhibit when he was 18.
Partow found his interest in European painters and in his early years continued his work in classical style. After completing high school, he went to the US to continue his education. He received Masters of Architecture from Rice University in Houston Texas. He later started his own architectural practice in Iran. Partow’s earlier architectural work is mostly influenced by Bauhaus, while his most recent work is more contextual with Post Modern tendencies. Partow participated in several national and international design competitions and won several first prizes. The most prestigious award was the first prize in the international competition for the design of the Bank Omran Central headquarter – the late Shah of Iran’s bank- against such competitors as Sir Basil Spence of England and numerous other world known architectural firms who had participated in this competition. The building was a high-rise structure, designed with great sensitivity to the local culture, weather and environmental context. Partow’s other prize winning projects include civic centers, housing and community planning. Partow continued his art work while practicing architecture. His wok was in various styles at different periods of his life. The styles he worked in include, Classical, Impressionist, Kinetic Art, Abstract realism and most recently Abstract expressionism. These diverse experience have enriched his work and provided him with the necessary skills to express himself in a unique style. The focus of his earlier work was to depict the relationship of nature, and the manmade environment. In some of the work of this period, he juxtaposes female figures with the straight sharp lines and geometric patterns, creating unique metaphorical and poetic work.
Partow’s art work reflects his architectural experience. Some of his work is staged within an architectural space. The architectural elements appear through the human figure symbolizing how we are impacted by the environment we create. Light, both natural and artificial , is an essential element of his art work. He renders each painting with special sensitivity to the importance of light in manifestation of form. Some times contrasting natural moon light or day light with artificial light.
His love of poetry specially those of Persian poets such as Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam, is reflected in his art work offering a sense a of beauty with a strong undercurrent of mysticism. The influence of poetry in Partow’s art work ,furthermore, results in a metaphoric work in many levels.