Reza Doust was born 1960 in Esfahan. In 1974 at age fourteen, Doust enrolled in Esfahan School of Fine Arts in. He had his first solo show at the Iranian & American Cultural Society in Esfahan in 1975. A year later, his paintings were chosen as the best work in the National Exhibition for Young Artists in Tehran. Since 1986 after receiving his B.F.A. from Tehran University, Doust’s art had prominent peresence in countries in the Persian Gulf region, and also had many Exhibition in Europe 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.
The first time I started painting with oil color I was fourteen. With love for Van Gogh’s 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. The lovely Zayande River and the trees along its shores were favorite subjects. I listened to the melody of its flowing water and was captivated by the mountains, shaped over thousands of years that were visible in the distance.
I now work in a basement workshop in a typical, suburban house in a Canadian city called Coquitlam which is close to the far bigger and better-known urban centre, Vancouver. Although my present place is located in a green and mountainous region of British Columbia, these days I rarely venture into the woods to create landscape images. My “WANT” tells me that I “SHOULD NOT” replicate what I see with my eyes about nature in the real world. I choose, rather, to expose sensations of nature that are personal and private within me. What you see in this presentation (Kuwait Museum of Contemporary Art ) arise from the complex, sometimes interrupted, processes and struggle each underwent before the individual pieces in this group were deemed finished.
These artworks depend on techniques I’ve been experimenting with for several years, that reached an earlier stage of maturity during the last phase of the Nostalgia Series which was first exhibited in1996 in Kuwait*and year 2000 in Vancouver Canada.
Most certainly my present methods of image-making are in complete opposition to the strict disciplines of traditional Persian miniature art and calligraphy that I learned as a youth. These days I don’t work within tradition or geographic boundaries but fully try to reflect the contemporary and the international ambiance that surround me. As a result I am free to mix all media, work broadly or delineate with a fine brush if I so choose. Sometimes I rub paint on with my hands, use a scraping knife or even a scrap wood to apply the oils onto canvas. Charcoal, graphite, scarps of paper and other materials contribute to the layers of meaning and density of surface. But I am still in love with the smell of oil in oil color as I was as fourteen years old.
Now when I am working, the distorted sounds from the old radio bring me news from far away places. The collection of photos and news clippings that surround me, feed Nostalgic Land-scrapes in my mind, and as I drink my black tea I truly understand now Vincent Van Gogh voice: “Suffering as I am, I cannot do without something greater than myself, something which is my life — the power to create.”
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