Inspirations can come in many forms. For Iranian-born American abstract surrealist Rassouli, it's light as it ‘removes darkness from his insight’.
The artist's solo exhibition 'Love and Light', held recently at Bait Muzna Gallery in Opera Galleria, gave an insight into his thoughts, his feelings and his personality. Each painting comes across as a personal journey.
“My paintings represent my life. They are expressions of my heart, each is a different one,” said Rassouli. Unlike most artists, he begins by colouring the canvas directly, without having a clear idea of what the painting is going to be. It is solely his feelings that drive him to paint. He takes up each project as if it were the most important one.
But why is light so important to him and how does it inspire him? Rassouli said that every Sunday, he hikes up a mountain before the crack of dawn and waits for the sun to rise. “When the face of the sun appears, I ask the power of light to remove all the darkness from my insight.”
Rassouli has been climbing mountains from when he was a child and much before he began to paint. And, he likes solitude, which he believes is different from loneliness. “When you're lonely, you're separated from everybody. But when you're in solitude, you're connected with the entire universe.”
One can see ample use of the colour purple in his works. In purple, Rassouli says, one can feel the mystical world.
A work close to his heart is Song of Solitude. Painted around a year ago, it depicts the feelings he undergoes while on a mountain watching the sun rise.
A line written to him by a poet friend saying that loneliness is like a ship in full sail, but with no place to go, struck a chord with him and Song of Solitude was created.
Another painting, Immortal Knight shows a knight on a horse. Rassouli said this work of art will be used on the billboard for an upcoming Hollywood movie of the same name. The movie is about two knights who resurrect after every hundred years. While one dreams to set the world right, the other dreams of destroying it, portraying a struggle between good and evil.