Arab Times page 33 Kuwait December 16, 2007By Lidia Qattan
Special thanks to the Arab Times
I have never been so deeply touched by pain or distress as during a recent exhibition i visited at Kuwait Museum of Modern Art. From the start to finish.the exhibition exuded an unset thing feeling of gloom.Every stroke from the master's brush had a life of its own,all of which merge into a chiaroscuro of emotions.I was being drawn into the magic of Reza Doust.a master of classic Iranian miniature paintings. Tragic circumstances turned this miniaturist into an abstractionist, as complex human feelings needed never for expression. Reza was 9 years old when he started as an apprentice in the studio of Akbar Paknhad. at 14 he enteredthe Persian fine arts school in Isfahan his birth place and the historical capital.A year later he was already winning recognition as avantegard artist. HE is colors had music in them.and other was movement in his forms.He's latest works reveal a trend departing from his earlier style of poetic buety,when life was full of pleasantries.He mind then was unmarried by the human tragedy which later tainted his soul in all it is gruesome reality.Thanks to the world media that show tragic events in graphic detail.Reza began painting, inspired by Van Gogh's Land scape's.Born in a beautiful places, he was naturally drawn to the enchanting surroundings. When he left Iran, he came into contact with harsh realities of the world around him.He became increasingly aware of human pain,enhanced by his longing for his dear ones back home. He also beheid with a fury of impotence his beloved country being torn apart under various pretexts. What was once a peaceful and beautiful place was turning into a moat of human suffering and pain, like other places in the world. He sow a design of global tyranny consuming the planet. He was no longer able to see the beauty that influenced his brush. Reza began a soulful outpouring of his pen up emotions. in abstract forms, which are open to any number of interpretions. In realism.those messages would have been gorier and more repelling, Against the murky background on his canvasses are seen human figures, distended hands, questioning looking looks on children's faces and patches of light and shade.The light stands as a ray of hope in the midst of utter despondency. Artists are extreamly sensitive people. They must be so,in order to be able to create. The more and artist is exposed to the dark side of life,the greater is his creative output.Emotions and feelings are the raw material for an artist's creation. However,prophets of doom are seldom welcome among people,because they remind people of things they want to forget. people seek catharsis in art.which is one of the reasons why sensual subjects attract many beholders. Such subjects help us take on life with a smile.The moment is indeed all we have. We can never say if we might live to see the next sunrise. Then,i wonder,why all this greed and lust for power and wealth? We plan for future,set goals and work hard to achieve them, but all our plans can vanish in a split second. So why worry over a ghost future, when we have the concrete present to celebrate ? Why expend our energy in sorrow, while we can use it to make ourselves happy?if we fallow the methods of nature, we would meet failures with an outburst of positive energy. this is precisely what nature dose when the very survival is at stake. We have been created imperfect, so that we can correct our imperfections and evolve. If we were perfect,humanity would still be living in canvas, and hunting and gathering food. it is our imperfections that have spired us into creating technologies ,cultures, art, religions,philosophies and so on. We are creatures with feeling and emotions. What affects our feelings,affects our behavior and mood. When relaxed and happy, we burst with the energy to create thing things or meet challenges. However, when we are depressed, we feel too drained even to perform a simple task. Failure, whether collective or personal, should be seen as an incentive for improvement, not as a burden which will weight down our soul. We learn from our failures only if we can laugh at them. Forget the sting and move on. Life is full of opportunities. Even Reza Doust in his pessimistic view of the world hints are hope. Though gloomy, his works are still inspiring. Often it is on the brink of failure great successes have been wrought. Isn't the threat of global warming as an emerging Armageddon already leading to new ways of using renewable energy and the recycling of waste?