Scattered, diffused, throbbing in and out of focus, Ali Banisadr’s painted vignettes beg for closer inspection. Starkly biographical and masterfully executed, they flow with a dream-like fluidity, avoiding sterile replication and rejecting the need for a central point of focus, encouraging the viewer to consider each work both in its detail and as an immersive whole. Their rendering in a rich palette of aromatic colours pays homage to the tradition of the Persian miniature, the means through which Banisadr explores his childhood memories of violence, confusion and loss as a refugee in the Iraq-Iran war.
Comparisons have been drawn between Banisadr and 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, who similarly painted fantastical landscapes busy with the activity of figures. For Banisadr, the narratives of his work emerge from the process of painting itself, and his visible and expressive brushstrokes reflect this process. On his work, Banisadr comments: “It takes a while to unfold itself and show the images within. It is certainly not a quick read. When I am working on a painting, everything that I’m thinking about at the time all find their way into the piece, and the title is a clue to this.”
Ali Banisadr (b.1976) is an Iranian-born artist living in New York City. In 2005, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and his Master of Fine Arts in 2007 from the New York Academy of Art, Ali Banisadr’s work is in the public collections of The British Museum in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, The Olbricht Collection in Germany, Francois Pinault Foundation in Italy, London’s The Saatchi Gallery, Vienna’s Sammlung Essl, and The Wurth Collection in Germany. In 2011, Flash Art named him number one in a poll of Top 100 Contemporary Artists.—