News ID: 325556
Published: 0213 GMT November 23, 2022

Thus spoke the artist: Rings of faith in humanity

Thus spoke the artist: Rings of faith in humanity

Art is arguably an act of addition since artists add something to the world. One may object that usually some materials are reduced or destroyed to make a new addition to the world, but this loose sense of subtraction does not bring sadness, or even joy, which is normally associated with subtraction and loss. Keyvan Rahiminejad, however, has flipped the script. We are ‘happy’ that he subtracted clutter and garbage from the world to make his artistic additions, and so is he.

The 51-year-old calligraphist has found that using a particular canvas gives him the most sense of pride and pleasure: unrecyclable wastes, or in other words, anything that is safe to be repurposed into an art piece, like bottle caps, plastics, etc.

“The idea bounced around in my head when I saw a private beach littered with trash a few years ago. The day after, I decided to buy two dozen trash bags and single-handedly clean the beach. To my surprise, in a display of humanity, other residents sympathized with my environmental cause and helped me completely remove the trash in a few hours. The peace I felt afterward motivated me to go the extra mile and do something with the 18 bags that were collected to promote recycling.”

That experience gave Rahiminejad an eye for detecting unwanted items that cannot be recycled but certainly can be turned into art pieces. Case in point, two unrecognizable satellite dishes were on display beside him at the group exhibition. Apparently, even though his neighbors had replaced these two dishes with newer models, they didn’t have the heart to throw them away. So, Rahiminejad offered them money in exchange for “removing pollution from your environment”, not detailing what plans he really had in mind for the dishes.

Of course, now we know that he decided to color the inner surface of the dishes, draw near-perfect rings and practice his calligraphy. Each ring contains a repeated line of a poem that “played huge roles” in his life.

One black and red colored dish looked more like an ominous reactor. The metal rings of the reactor at a closer glance read, “I’m drunk by the wine of love / I will not be made sober”. Rahiminejad explained that he saw a similarity between a forceful statement such as this that comes from the heart and the core of a nuclear reactor inching toward erupting from within.

The other blue and yellow colored dish evidently drew inspiration from the Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri’s famous line: “Our job is not to discover the 'secret' of the red rose, / Our job is, perhaps / To float in the charm of roses”. Heeding Sepehri’s advice, the artist set aside the color red and chose to know less.


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