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Ali Banisadr (Iranian, b. 1976)
Ali Banisadr (Iranian, b. 1976)

Burn it Down

Ali Banisadr (Iranian, b. 1976)
Burn it Down
signed and dated ‘Ali BANISADR 2012’ (on the overlap)
oil on linen
30 x 36 in. (76 x 91.5 cm.)
Painted in 2012
Sperone Westwater Gallery.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
J. Deitch, Ali Banisadr, Motherboard, New York 2014 (illustrated in colour p. 23).
New York, Sperone Westwater Gallery, Ali Banisadr Motherboard, 2014.

Lot Essay

Apocalyptic, psychedelic and charismatic are just some of the words used to describe Banisadr’s work. His works give an impression of chaos yet the artist’s studio is always impeccable, with his brushes, paints and canvases perfectly aligned. His works exemplify otherworldliness that confronts the viewers. Burn It Down, executed in 2012 depicts a rendering of the natural and the digital. By joining depth along with characteristics of Iranian miniatures, Banisadr represents his own reality. He uses bold and vivid colours, and his painterly technique emulates the works of the great Venetian artists he so momentously admires, specifically Jacopo Tintoretto (1519- 1594). He also draws inspiration from the graffiti he grew up around in San Francisco from artists such as Barry McGee (b. 1966) and Margaret Kilgallen (1967-2001). In addition to these modern graffiti artists, a correlation to Gothic Flemish painter, Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) seems inevitable.

With compositions following sounds within a painting, Banisadr’s work is the middle ground where consonance and dissonance meet, where chaos and instability reign. ‘I became fascinated with all histories of war, conspiracies, colonialism and corruption,’ (www.ropac. net: Ali Banisadr (2010) - Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac) he explained. His Iranian heritage, or what he remembers from the time he lived there, makes appearances subconsciously as he never deliberately includes elements of his background. Anguish and seclusion are among the themes Banisadr explores in his work, and although these may seem like darker themes, he brings in elements of joy and delight with the palette he chooses. Through the use of a vibrant palette, bulky brushstrokes and a gestural composition, Banisadr not only evokes his frenzied recollections of transposition and war but also reveals his various artistic influences. Projecting a sense of mayhem and carnage he felt during those years in his home country, his work continues to aesthetically provoke the viewer through pandemonium.

This hip New York based artist was born during the Islamic revolution of 1976 in Tehran, after which his family left for Turkey in 1978 and later to California. At the turn of the millennium, Banisadr moved to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts from where he received his BFA, and then his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007. He hosted his first solo exhibition in 2008, and has had a multitude of international shows. His works traverse through his trail amidst art history. Combining various elements from different time periods and cultural aspects, Banisadr materialises form and imagery in explosive compositions to produce a domain of irrational fantasy based on rational philosophical systems.

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