- Posted February 5, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Give art not arms: Ron Taybi's gift to Sochi
“Gracious” is a 22-foot-tall ballerina frozen mid-leap. Her eyes joyously skim the skies above her and a faint, carefree smile plays upon her gleaming lips. She is a vision in polished steel beams and ever-changing LED lights. Her arms fly behind her while a menacing shape made of negative space and shadow seems to chase her flying skirt.
“She is not only built beautifully, she is also heedless to the beast of war,” Taybi said.
Taybi left his native Iran more than four decades ago, and has lived as a self-described global citizen ever since. His compassion for humanity and his feeling of unity with the people of the world heavily influence his work. For Taybi also dreams of peace. It is his life’s purpose to spread that message, and he believes that the world is more ready for peace than it thinks. After a life-threatening heart complication nearly ended his aspirations, he is more determined than ever to spread that message.
“The peace economy will overcome the war economy,” he says.
He explains that at this very moment, mankind is displaying newfound maturity by rising against social injustice with unrivaled strength. He believes this affirms our ability (and need) to evolve.
This four-ton peace offering, made up of more than 1,000 separate parts, will be split into just two pre-assembled pieces and travel nearly 7,000 miles to Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 winter Olympics. The statue is a token of goodwill from America to Russia, the first of its kind since France’s gift of the Statue of Liberty to the United States.
Officials in Sochi plan to build their graceful new inhabitant a place of honor. She will live in a lush park placed atop a mount with a 360-degree view in front of the newly-renovated Nadezhda villa. Once a guest estate for some of the world’s greatest dance stars as they toured through Russia, the villa will be open to the public for the first time in decades as a museum of ballet.
An international effort from the start, many fabrication shops were involved with creating “Gracious”. Laser companies from China, sheet metal companies from India, and computer technicians and lighting specialists from different locations across the globe all came together to bring the sculpture to life.
“It’s really indicative of our society,” said Taybi. “Art speaks everyone’s language and everyone understands art in their own language.”
Taybi has been creating art for 35 years, and his work is routinely larger than life. His company, Rami Designs in Irvine, CA, specializes in architectural metal such as staircases and handrails. Having manufactured everything from furniture to fireplaces, modern lighting to classic landscapes, Rami Designs has long been the backbone to Taybi’s artistic career.
Taybi’s work is best known for its sense of harmony and effervescence. However, holding multiple college degrees in chemical engineering and business management from prestigious Calif. universities also tempers each piece he creates with a sense of logic.
“I feel that art is a very logical science,” Taybi said. “It really has to make sense.”
Most sculptors start small, but doing things conventionally has never been Taybi’s style. He says that building “Gracious: Beacon of Peace” was like building a prototype, figuring out how to do things in totally new ways. The process can be not only challenging, but also expensive, treading into the unknown with a thousand little pieces of metal. But the result is a stunning gift of art.
See “Gracious” before she embarks on her journey halfway around the world. The unveiling will be on Saturday, Feb. 22 in his Irvine studio located at 24 Hammond, Suite E, Irvine, Calif. Ron Taybi thinks it will be a milestone gesture of peace and an opportunity to send a message to all other nations.
“The more I think about it,” he said, “the more I believe the world could start giving art instead of arms.”
You can see his expansive portfolio at www.rontaybi.com and “Pathway to Harmony” on Facebook.