Ali Banisadr

Iran (islamic Republic Of) 1976


Ali Banisadr
Ali Banisadr
Iran (islamic Republic Of)
June 17, 2016

Ali Banisadr is an Iranian artist who creates astonishing large-scale paintings using his ability to express synesthesia. Giving that synesthesia is commonly referred as the ability to see sound, Banisadr manages to transfer the sound he hears using many details, symbolic references and a special blending of color. The sound he portrays is not just music, although the parts of his large works easily communicate with the audience and build a premium captivating relationship with the viewer. The sound particles are spread across the canvas inferencing the tragical noise of bombing he had to witness while growing up in Teheran.

new york 2016 works contact work biography east banisadr’s museum press new memory exhibitions museum news tehran Ali Banisadr, Fravashi, 2013
Ali Banisadr – Fravashi, 2013

Painting with Synesthesia

Banisadr grew up in Teheran, where his childhood was stamped with the unfortunate experience of Iran-Iraq war and the civil war revolution. The constant noise and the fear-polluted surroundings made the inseparable connection of ruined buildings and houses with the air raid sounds. When he paints, the shrapnel of colors flies across the canvas in the same manner as the sound waves travel through our earlobes to the nervous system. His family left for Turkey, and later to San Diego, California. In the United States, he studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he graduated with BFA in 2005, and later enrolled the New York Academy of Art, earning an MFA in 2007. He was experimenting with mixed media but chose oil on canvas technique as his primary focus. The theme of his artwork is settled in an interactive method, where he lets the narrative flow unchained and open to interpretation. His paintings often require a closer look and the keynote foundation is in the details. Strong emotional background increases the overall energy of the paintings, transferring the feelings of aggression, pain, sorrow, a nostalgia for the childhood times, giving a positive sentiment even more character. The positive vibes, just like in music, bring light and harmony, that together accent the metaphysical fusion of cultures, history, and beauty of living.

One of Ali Banisadr’s most praised exhibitions was the one at Blain Southern gallery

new york 2016 works contact museum press work biography east banisadr’s news tehran new memory london Ali Banisadr, The Lesser Lights, 2014
Ali Banisadr – The Lesser Lights, 2014

Corporate Enterprise Media and the Products of War

The subjects of his paintings are small worlds, collided together in a broad universe of collective experience. Those worlds are inhabited by colorful figures struggling to find inner peace, facing chaotic consequences of war, but still communicating with each other, sharing experiences and helping each other to find a way of coping with unsustainability. The universal message is to find a way to establish methods of hopeful existence, while the circumstances are questioning the faith in humanity. He finds large canvases easier to work on since they give him needed freedom. The largest piece he made was a 7-metre long triptych, which was exhibited at Blain|Southern Gallery in London, for the first time. It was his first solo exhibition in the UK entitles At Once, and his previous solo shows were in Paris and New York. The motivation to paint in such high detail and on large surfaces was partially originated from his view on the quality of life in the 21st century. Unlike the music, where we can get stuck with one tune resonating in our heads over and over again, images come and go, as we are constantly exposed to pictures on our social media profiles, from the billboards, or in magazines. What makes one image stuck in our heads it’s its ability to produce deeper thought, which will form a strong bond with the feeling we experience.

The artist uses simple tools and pretty closed color palette

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Ali Banisadr – Foreign Lands, 2015

Overcoming the Bad Memories

The paintings serve as a portal to many different worlds, they take the viewer to another reality where time has slowed down and the storytelling can last indefinitely. Even though there are no literal symbols exposed in his artwork, Banisadr finds a golden ration in showing instinctive references as a part of something physical. There are no clear images of birds, bombs, people, yet they are still there, their presence lingers somewhere between color fields and fragmented landscapes. No artwork of his is alike, sometimes the images give the impression as if they are magically changing when they are not in focus. It is because of his expressionist manner and ability to capture figures in motion, we get the feeling that the image is transforming right in front of us. Aside from synesthesia, Banisadr’s artwork has another great quality, a therapeutical one, where he exposes his inner battles to overcome bad memories. He blends personal experience and does not separate influences of the East from the West. It is all part of his unique memorization of the past events. Same goes for the artistic influences, whether that are works of Bosch or De Kooning, Banisadr sometimes refers to them subconsciously but keeps the references and comparisons open in an indirect way.

Featured image: Ali Banisadr – Portrait of the artist (Detail), photo credits
All images courtesy of Ali Banisadr and gallery Blain|Southern

SoloExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Ali BanisadrFrieze New YorkSolo
2016My Abstract WolrdMe Collectors room, Olbricht Foundation, BerlinGroup
2016A Question of PerspectiveGrimm Gallery, Amsterdam, HollandGroup
2015In Medias ResGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisSolo
2015At OnceBlainSouthern, London, UKSolo
2015Charity for the RefugeesGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgGroup
2014MotherboardSperone Westwater, New York, NYSolo
2014Eurasia. A view on PaintingGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin, FranceGroup
2014Between WorldsGalerie Isa, Mumbai, IndiaGroup
2014Love Me, Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its NeighborsHeydar Aliyev Center, Baku, AzerbaijanGroup
2013Love Me - Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its NeighborsThe 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale,Venice, ItalyGroup
2013Expanded PaintingPrague Biennale 6, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2013Cinematic Visions: Painting at The Edge of RealityVictoria Miro Gallery, London, UKGroup
2013A Selection of Recent Acquisitions from The Permanent CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Safar - VoyageMuseum of Anthropology (MOA) at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CanadaGroup
2013Frauen Liebe und Leben (The Klocker collection)Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, GermanyGroup
2013Disaster: The End of DaysGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin, FranceGroup
2013TectonicThe Moving Museum, Gate Village DIFC, DubaiGroup
2013DynastyHotel Particulier, New York, NYGroup
2012We Haven't Landed on Earth YetGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, AustriaSolo
2012Contemporary Iranian art in the Permanent CollectionThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkGroup
2012Peekskill Project VHudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NYGroup
2012The Sound of PaintingPalazzo Saluzzo Paesana, Turin, ItalyGroup
2012Lucie Fontaine: Estate VernissageMarianne Boesky Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Hue and CrySotheby’s (S2 Gallery) New York, NYGroup
2012Referencing HistoryGreen Art Gallery, DubaiGroup
2011It Happened and It Never DidLeslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, NYSolo
2011XXSmallGemeente Museum, The Hague, NetherlandsGroup
2011East Ex EastBrand New Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2011VisionsMonica De Cardenas, Milan, ItalyGroup
2010EvidenceGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (works on paper)Solo
2010PaintingsGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisSolo
2010Hareng Saur : Ensor and Contemporary ArtStedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Ghent, BelgiumGroup
2010Contemporary NotesAssar Gallery, Tehran, IranGroup
2010GhostsLuce Gallery, Torino, ItalyGroup
2009Epic PaintingSamek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, PAGroup
2009Raad O BarghKunstraum Deutsche Bank, Salzburg, AustriaGroup
2009Unveiled: New Art from the Middle EastThe Saatchi Gallery, LondonGroup
2009Raad O Bargh – 17 Artists from IranGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisGroup
2008Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + ProjectsNew YorkSolo
2008Weaving The Common ThreadQueens Museum of Art, Queens, NYGroup
2008Utopia DystopiaLeslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New YorkGroup
2008Small is Beautiful (2)Flowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2008Post Graduate Fellows ExhibitionNew York Academy of ArtGroup
2007Small is BeautifulFlowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007HomecomingNew York Academy of Art, New YorkGroup
2007CAA ExhibitionHunter College, Time Square Gallery, New YorkGroup
2006Tribeca BallSkylight, New YorkGroup
2006Summer PaintersChateau de Balleroy, FranceGroup
2005In ExileVisual Arts Gallery, New YorkGroup