Arab Times Kuwait May 23, 2011
Doust works reflect chaos, peace
By Deepa Pant
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In his large-scale canvases, he weds the mundane with the grand and tells the stories of journeys through life. In a distinct visual idiom, Reza Doust weaves together images, objects and traditions in an unexpectedly intimate relationship. Doust finds beauty in the mundane. He seamlessly incorporates disparate images and fragments of text, which do not take away the dynamics of his simplified protagonists, but only accentuate the emotion and complexity what his subjects may be feeling. The often detailed monochromatic backdrops reflect his expertise, and love, for meticulous miniature painting and have a definite role to play in Doust’s scheme of things. “In my recent works, common people, as seen busy in the dailyness of their life, are the subject, “ explains Doust. In a slight departure from the strict Persian classical traditions, Doust follows an experimental style in collage and mixed-media on canvas. What makes Doust’s depictions so compelling is the way he juxtaposes his simple subjects with the background without blurring either. The subjects of his paintings are breathtakingly simple , revelling in their mundane activities and are rendered with bold lines on his canvases but without any extra fuss of texturing or layering. By putting the various components together, the artist believes that from chaos comes art. “When times change, people relocate, but the beauty is in managing this chaos”. The artworks demonstrate Doust’s accomplished skill with composition and color. Deeply inspired by Persian poetry, his works provide a breathtaking narrative of solitary figures, grim faced men , of men resigned to their fate, or just indulging in mundane activities that make up the body of his works produced over a period of three years. While speaking of his thought process, the artist reveals, “ I juxtapose snippets of what I observe or hear, whether on television or radio.” “For many years I have been taking my bits and pieces of photos, sketches and sugar cubes with me to where ever I travel.” “These pictures have been the basis for my works. Sipping my bitter tea, I look at these bits and pieces gathered from the works of Old Persian masters and feel as if they call me, to get tested. I do my version, in present time and space and then compare it with the work of the artists before me,” notes this acclaimed artist. This artist’s paintings allude to place, time and space as he portrays the trials and tribulations,the pain and the anguish of a solitary man in a bustling metropolis, which could be Tehran, Mumbai or Istanbul. “I think about my everyday life, the joys of being alive, loving and being loved. I force my self to live simply that others can simply live,” he emphasizes. The images are sincere and semi-autobiographical, and one of the signature works on view is Unnamed series No 5, and No 6, done up in collage and mixed media on canvas. His works also come with a message: suspend the thinking mind and savor the present. For Doust , painting is an everyday thing and he loves to retreat from the chaotic world to his sanctum. It’s the only space, where he says, he is able to gain true critical distance from what we experience every day. For the past 30 odd years, Doust has been exhibiting regularly and has received critical acclaim at home and abroad. In his artist statement, he says he started painting with oil color when he was merely 14. “With love for Van Gogh and impassioned response to landscape, I went into the countryside surrounding my ancient native city of Esfahan in search of beauty, sunlight, and nature. I recorded what I perceived, as expressively as I could.” Reza Doust was born in, 1960 in Esfahan . Doust earned his degree in art from the Esfahan School of Fine Arts. He currently lives and works in Coquitlam, a Canadian city close to the own industrial port city of Vancouver. The exhibition opens Tuesday May 24 and will be on view until Thursday May 26. This exhibition provides a great opportunity to view the dynamic work of Reza Doust. Furthermore, part of the sales generated in this exhibition will be donated to the cancer association in Kuwait known as Hayat4Cancer. Hayat4Cancer was launched in 2003 and is now part of the Ruqaya A. Al Qatami Charity Foundation and Cancer Patients Helping Fund founded by Mrs. Rugaya Abdelwahab Essa Al Qatami (oum Qais Alghanim) officially launched in January 2008. The exhibition schedule is as follows: May 24, 7 pm -9 pm, May 25, 10 am - 2 pm and from 7 pm - 9 pm and May 26, from 10 am - 2 pm. Sultan Gallery is located in South Subhan, Block 8, Street 105, Building 168. For further details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 60970001.