The Rock We Landed On. 2020. Quincy Quarry. Performed by Jeff Jean Paul. Photographed by Basil El HalwagyThe Wave Away from Us. 2020. Quincy Quarry. Performed by Jeff Jean Paul. Photographed by Basil El HalwagyGatyam Maytag (Down and Forward). 2020. Quincy Quarry. Performed by Jeff Jean Paul. Photographed by Basil El Halwagy

Piridalil: 2018. Pir in Farsi means feather, and it also represents an elder, teacher, or guide in the Sufi tradition. When I started this project I felt it was going to be a project representing an idea of male beauty. It seems media today spends a great deal of time addressing the negative aspect of males in western society - their privileged and cultural aggression. But I think that is really a western problem. I want to make a suit that focuses on the beautiful parts of being male. In many cultures men are prominent as dancers and warriors and in plenty of examples the two art forms are conflated into one. Pir-i-Dalil to me represents the best qualities of men, including an inner beauty, an colorful order, and a heart as light as feathers.

More on Piridalil

Piridalil is an avatar for bravery and steadfastness.

As an ephemeral being, Piridalil is both a warrior and a mystic. His appearance invokes visual splendor and imposing structure. Piridalil is bold and confrontational, while embracing color and beauty. Piridalil offers guidance to people seeking greater spirituality. He strengthens their resolve and restores a sense of discernment to those overcoming emotional or psychological issues.

I wanted to make a character that openly celebrated all the wonderful things about manhood. Allowing us to throw out every misconception about males that is toxic and destructive. I love manhood, and openly contradicted our typical assumptions about men. Through this character I deal with issues of chivalry, personal truth, and the irreverent spirit.

Piridalil loves the mountains, and craves a bird's eye view of the world. He values solitude as much battle. Companions are also important to Piri, and he chooses his fellows carefully. The word Pir means feather in Farsi (spoken in Iran). In Sufi spiritual traditions, the Pir-e-Dalil is a spiritual counselor and guide to darvishes - those who hope to embark upon on the Sufi Spiritual path. I was a darvish for about 9 years and I sought to learn about Sufism through my study and practice. Piridalil is a result of my very limited learning in that timeframe.

To me Piridalil is the beauty of the peacock and combined with the bravery of the eagle. The headdress is made purely from EVA foam, and also utilizes the same arabesque pattern. The brim of the headdress is pointed like an eagles beak, and the headdress fans outward, like the peacock’s train.

For this suit I wanted to revisit working arabic geometric patterns. I used this pattern differently, opting to fill the shapes with visual texture, lines and color. I placed feather markings inside each shape and then painted over them with blue and green or red and yellow, to really heighten the intensity. Throughout the body suit I used color combinations that deliberately contrast, and sought to utilize the full spectrum from red to violet.