We recently paid a visit to Mah art gallery in Golestan Street, north of Jordan Avenue in Tehran. They had a group exhibition of five young artists, Nazanin Asgharzadeh, Golnaz Afraz, Golnar Tabibzadeh, Omid Masoumi and Ali Chitsaz. All of them had ten works displayed and they were as different as Tehran life and youth can be. They were all talented artists, and all seemed serious in their works. On the opening night, the gallery which is very large and has several rooms was full of artists and the art loving people of Tehran.
I was deeply taken by the works of Mr. Ali Chitsaz; I found his work most daring, cool to the deep point of cynicism yet warm and caring. The characters in his paintings each had a life and one could sit and wonder about what led them to this point. I was lucky that when I went to the gallery later he was there and I had a chance to talk to him. I found him most interesting, cool and tense at the same time. He definitely has a great potential as an artist.
Chitsaz plays chess and paints mainly even though his academic background is business management. He told me that he has not had formal training as a painter but he has been painting since he was a child. He comes from a small family and has a sister who is reading nuclear physics and a younger brother who is at school. His father was a university professor (mechanical engineering) and his mother is a translator.
When I asked about his work at the exhibition he said that his works are like his poems and he is greatly influenced by literary and music figures rather than artists in the visual world. He mentioned Pierre Boulez, Meredith Monk, Alain Robbe-Grillet (A.R.G.), Edgar Allan Poe and Paul Auster. He went on to say that, normally in stories there is a hero who comes in after something that happens and sorts everything out and is loved by all etc. etc. but in books by A.R.G, for example you read 200 pages and nothing happens, life goes on and the main character sometimes messes things up and sometimes does not, as a sort of antihero.
Ali Chitsaz told me that he sees the world around him in the same way and what he feels comes out strongly in his work. His paintings seem simple yet they are most intriguing. As his mood changes so does his work. When I asked why he used so much yellow in his works for this exhibition he said that he painted them mostly during the summer. Like a true artist, his colors follow his mood changes and one can begin to see what he means when he says painting is my life.
I have a few of his paintings here to share with you. I do hope you enjoy them even if like me, you may not have the courage to hang them in your living rooms. I am sure you will join me to wish him all the very best of success and I certainly look forward to seeing his color and his deeply fascinating stories of his characters on his canvases at his next exhibition.
... Payvand News - 1/29/07 ... --