“Sipping my bitter tea with sugar cube, I look at these bits and pieces for a long time, I gathered them from the works of Old Persian masters, curios in their record of life events in different time space, is it the same…? I feel they call me, to get tested, I do my version ,in present time space, I compare, and it relieve me.” Reza Doust
Iranian artist Reza Doust opened his latest solo exhibition in FA Gallery Kuwait with 21 artworks; where Doust presented two sections: First were selected artworks from his collections (Get Tested) and (Study on Parisian Art). Second “Honoring a Man’s Best Friend” as the artist described them and utilizing oil or acrylic on medium to small canvas, he painted color tubes, brushes and any medium artist use to produce his / her artwork. Doust says about them:
Tools and instruments that exist in our life or work places find different meanings and functions over time, depending on how we use them. They can remind us of other things, like expressing our feelings, or demonstrating our way to or from different layer of life. They also have their own stories to tell.
A closer look at these things and paying attention to thei…r forms, colors, types and how they are placed beside each other can inspire an endless and pleasant exploration.
Among them, paint tubes are very important to me. They make no complaints about my hands squeezing them hard to extract the last drops of paint from them. They have unsparingly and affably lived with me. Although my paintings could not exist without them, they, them self have been missed in my previous exhibitions. They have found now an opportunity to tell their story in their own silent language.
(Get Tested) VS (Study on Parisian Art)
In his selective artworks of (Get Tested) and (Study on Parisian Art), Reza Doust flips the coin of reality, showing two different aspects of the truth. The conterversial artworks stand out strongly in the exhibition. In (Get Tested) Doust shows the differences between antiant and modern Iran, contradiction of how it used to be and its current state. In the background, he used clippings of Parisian legends, philosophers, personas … etc and some verses of old sayings randomly put together and in the fron we have an obvious big figure, sometimes offering you tea, sometimes a piece of food, but he is always looking at you. The figure looks vulnerable, perhaps weak and poor whereas the background clippings look well-dressed, strong, influncial and challenging. Doust here tries to show us how we were and how we become, a comparisim between ansitors and grandsons, the past, present and perhaps a glince to how the future can be.
However, in (Study on Parisian Art), Doust uses clippings of the recent Iran from newspapers as a background, coming together to form an ancient figure popular in Iranian culture. The way I see it is Doust is sharing a glance of hope, that no matter what is going on now, it will go back to the glory it used to be. Same applies to “Lonely Dancer”, also a very famous figure in Iranian art and culture happily dancing in the middle of a tornado of political & social mess! There is hope.
About Reza Doust
Reza Doust was born 1960 in Esfahan, . Since 1986 after receiving his B.F.A. from Tehran University, Doust’s art had prominent presence in countries in the Persian Gulf region, Europe and Canada. He has been residing in British Columbia, Canada since 1998. From 2003-2007 Doust was director of his own highly acclaimed Doust Little Gallery and curator of Al Fanar Art Galleries in Kuwait.