Ali Banisadr on the possibilities of a blank canvas –

Known for his abstract compositions, New York-based artist Ali Banisadr recently described his paintings as “quite encyclopedic” and “trying to bring together different fragments of information and knowledge from different sources,” as he said. said to Brooke Jaffe during a “ARTnews Live ”, our ongoing IGTV series featuring interviews with a range of creatives.

Influenced by classical literature and the work of old masters like Bruegel, Bosch and Goya, Banisadr admires their ability to “show humanity on a macro level”. To create his works, he said that he “fell[s] in the rabbit hole ”while looking for the images that appear throughout his work. His maximalist approach to painting begins by sitting with the “endless possibilities” of a blank canvas until an idea or feeling strikes him. To capture an ambience, Banisadr bottles his own paint color combinations, which have become the basis of his works. The rest, he says, is a “fluid process” of improvisation and happy accidents.

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[A look inside Ali Banisadr’s Brooklyn studio.]

The vibrance of his Banisadr paintings attributes to his synesthesia – a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense causes involuntary experience in another. Growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and then the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, Banisadr began making drawings based on the sound of explosions.

“When I look at visual objects they can turn into sounds and when I hear certain sounds they can turn into visual objects,” he said. When he also reads, he sees “a parallel visual world” with “symbols, colors and movements”. He compares a finished painting to the harmony of a full orchestra.

Meditation is also part of Banisadr’s artistic practice. To “come into contact with painting”, he describes being in a head space similar to that of meditation, which allows him to receive “symbols and visual things that will manifest in the work”.

Banisadr’s personal exhibition “These dust spots” is currently on view at the Kasmin Gallery in New York until June 26. monograph on the Iranian painterThe artistic practice and its influences were published earlier this year by Rizzoli.

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