Jazeh Tabatabai skillfully turns what is inherently lacking artistic quality into genuine, sumptuous art. We have often known the world of his eccentric sculptures through works of this type, works that have been created through reflective thinking. Unusable, broken pieces that comprise these two figures are given life and character by the creative mind of the artist. These figures are the product of his efforts as well as his experimentation with objects and scrap metal. Pieces that were once part of an industrial machine constitute, now and forever, the figure of the smiling couple that is displaying love and affection. Creating these works, Jazeh is demonstrating that there is a fine line between art and non-art. One may consider reciprocating the benign look on the smiling faces of Jazeh’s sculptures by greeting and welcoming them to the artist’s utopian world in which sometimes a dispirited figure is turned into a passionate existence.
Even though the art of sculpting has not enjoyed a long history in Iran, Jazeh Tabatabai alone played a significant role in initiating a movement in Iranian modern sculpture. In effect, apart from the neoclassic experiments of Abolhassan Sedighi and realist perspective of Ali Akbar Sanati on sculpture, Parviz Tanavoli, Jazeh Tabatabai and Liliyet Terian are considered the most prominent pioneers of Iranian modern sculpture. What is even more significant in Tabatabai work is his experiment with recycling and assemblage art. He knows well how to juxtapose pieces of scrap metal and tap into his sense of humor in turning them into sculptures. He is the only Iranian contemporary sculptor who can use a nut as lips, a cogwheel as a waist, and a belt as locks of hair to make us believe that there is a kind and honest soul as well as a great sense of humor behind this tough appearance.
Jazeh Tabatabai was well aware of the secret to immortality in art. Hence, he can be considered one of the most creative Iranian modern artists who demonstrated the “act of creation” in the most obvious way. Creativity, genius, and the life-giving quality of Jazeh is evident in the diversity of his early works, i.e. from 1941 when he created his first sculpture. Even though he continued producing sculptures, the act of creating alone would not satisfy his fluid, experimentalist spirit and vivid mind. Hence, Jazeh started painting, writing stories, composing poetry, and establishing “New Art Gallery” in Tehran so that in addition to creating artworks, he could play a significant role in contemporary visual arts and provide the means of exhibiting sculptures.
It is not an easy task to categorize the work of Jazeh Tabatabai within a specific school or style of Iranian modern art. Some art historians believe that he belonged to the Saqqakhana School. Jazeh’s Intellectual independence as well as his avoidance of conventional stereotypes, disciplines, styles, and persuasions that existed in Iranian modernism made him an independent artist with a personal style. His paintings and sculptures demonstrate his fascination with Persian literature and folk art as well as symbols such as the lion, the sun, and birds. In general, Jazeh’s essence is synonymous with pure experiences seasoned with romanticism.