The sprawling Deljou house is a mélange of styles relating the Guggenheim Museum with its white circular structures and open spiral stairs infused with canary cages and art textures that create a family oasis.
Artist, entrepreneur, co-founder of Deljou Art Group/publishing house, Persian-born Kamy has carved out a niche like no other with his 85,000-square-foot showroom off Chattahoochee Avenue, with a staff of 127 artists, framers, designers and marketing staff, as well as state of the art equipment.
“What motivates me is creating impactful art that helps artists become respected professionals.” Exotic wife Roya keeps physically and mentally in shape as a personal trainer and yoga instructor. Some portion of that goes into being Kamy’s calming muse and elegant hostess.
Kamy, who is most confident in Prada, celebrates his artistic fiery wonderland one wall at a time. Take the tour:
Marcia: What here is your own work and how do you go about creating it?
Kamy: My most recent creation was this year’s Valentine’s gift for Roya. I took her photo in Batumi, (the second largest city in the country of Georgia [Adjara], known as the Las Vegas of the Black Sea) and was inspired by her love of butterflies to incorporate 3D wings on top of the image, coated with clear resin. I also crafted a heart piece entitled ESHGH (“love,” in Farsi) on art board with resin and diamond dust for Roya’s birthday.
The “Whirling Dervish” in our entrance is three months old. It’s mixed media with beeswax. Encaustic and resin are my newest media. My process of creation evolved from my Persian culture and the people I love. The hardest part is choosing which pieces to put up in our home because at Deljou Art Group, we represent over 100 artists on an exclusive basis. Each has a spectacular unique eye. If I had enough wall space, I’d have a piece from everyone we represent!
Marcia: What inspired you to buy this home 22 years ago?
Kamy: Love at first sight. The freestanding staircase is a masterpiece by Kemp Mooney, a renowned architect.
We also liked the 36-foot-high ceilings, large windows, open and wall space for our art collections, an atypical floor plan which is suitable for our lifestyle of hosting. Having the opportunity to create the Shiraz garden in the backyard was “icing on the cake.”
Marcia: Describe your décor?
Kamy: The house was in line with our personality, character and uplifting values. Furniture and accessories are great reflections of who we are, and don’t necessarily represent any style or era. Call it “Deljou’s Style.”
Marcia: What Israeli artists do you collect?
Kamy: Most of our sculptures are by Israelis: Tolla Inbar, Mark Bronson, Ruth Bloch and Jonathan Darmon. This nail torso is by Israeli Niso Maman.
Marcia: Share your journey from Iran.
Kamy: I graduated from Shiraz, Iran’s Pahlavi University (Now Shiraz University) in economics and business management before moving to the United States in 1980 to validate the term “land of opportunity.” Soon after, I discovered the need for a liaison between artists and galleries, art consultants and designers. This is why, along with my two older brothers Nasser and Daniel, we started Graphic DuJour that is now Deljou Art Group.
Why Atlanta? In life not everything we do is by choice, but how we manage and adapt is. Atlanta has been a great home to us. I picked Atlanta because my brothers were here, and the future held that I would meet Roya.
We are now well-established and surround ourselves with family, great friends and colleagues.
Marcia: You are one of the largest local art dealers. What goes on in your office/gallery/warehouse?
Kamy: Deljou Art Group is a platform, community and space for artists to become professional painters, blossom, get trained and excel. We support artists by providing art direction, publishing, framing, printing, and consulting. We are a one stop shop.
Marcia: What are the most unusual pieces you have?
Kamy: “The Bait” by Volker Kuhn. I bought this for Roya to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
Another is from Craig Alan’s world famous series “Populus.” I adore this piece for multiple reasons. Craig is an amazing human being, and I am mesmerized by his style and creativity.
Marcia: How are you involved in community-driven efforts?
Kamy: We focus on funding for educational facilities and students like supporting SmallWorldFilms, and founding “Undo Starving Artists” (USA) a nonprofit that challenges the misconception that one can’t successfully make a living creating art. The Button Art Project was conceived to celebrate the 200- year anniversary of Gwinnett County. I’m also taking part in Gwinnett’s Art Brigade to create a platform for artists to gain recognition through public art.
Marcia: Persians love to party. How do you set up for that?
Kamy: Open door and welcoming guests always is a backbone of Persian culture. Roya is an amazing cook and hostess.
“We are blessed to celebrate MANY occasions: Jewish, Persian and American holidays.
Marcia: How do you celebrate the Persian equinox /New Year?
Roya: Our New Year begins the second spring starts. This year it was March 20 at 5:58 p.m. We celebrated with the family and set the table with symbolic items. My lush green display here is sumac, garlic, hyacinth, vinegar, samanu (wheat germ pudding), apple, fish, mirror, candle and coins.
Marcia: What’s it like living with someone so creative?
Roya: No two days are the same, I can tell you that! He has opened my eyes to seeing things so differently around me – whether it’s related to art, people, cultures or the world. He brings a creative eye to everything he does, and it’s so much fun to see how he experiences the world. From fashion and style to architecture and design, he’s brought color and zest into my life as have our two daughters.
Marcia: Based on the Kuhn piece (shown below left), you’re glad you took “The Bait.”