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Davood Roostaei's cryptorealism, described as "a kind of magical eclecticism" by Albert Boime

LOS ANGELES, October 29, 2020 / PR Newswire

The COVID-19 lockdown gave Roostaei 8 months of uninterrupted focus on producing a new work. He is planning an exhibition in China for the beginning of 2021, where these works will be shown for the first time. It will take place in the spring at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing. Davood Roostaei brings magic to every piece of art he creates. The L.A.-based artist does this in two ways; through a technique called cryptorealism that he developed early in his career, and through the magical images he selects to convey an understanding of the world. Like the magician, Roostaei plays with perception, initially hiding images from the viewer that are revealed upon later viewing. Renowned American art historian and critic Albert Boime describes cryptorealism as: "a kind of magical eclecticism that is a game of hide-and-seek that Roostaei plays with the viewer."

Art history is a history of revolutionary moments. Impressionism - with its emphasis on the feelings evoked by the artist by the reality he saw before him - was a dramatic break in technique from the representational style of the Renaissance. Modernity is again in sharp contrast to what came before it. Abstract Expressionism marked a further break that saw art creation in a completely different way. And now contemporary postmodernism is radically differentiating itself through recombinations of countless art techniques borrowed from the various movements.

Davood Roostaei, A Cryptic Message, 1990, oil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 60 inches. With fre

A Cryptic Message, 1990, oil and acrylic on canvas © Davood Roostaei.

There will be other movements before us that are probably the same revolutionaryhave moments.

Roostaei is a revolutionary in this march of art history as his cryptorealism is a revolutionary technique in the same development.

In his 20s, Roostaei worked in Germany, the country where he would develop what is now known as cryptorealism. In 1987 the foundation for this new technique and way of thinking was laid, inspired by both his political and artistic experiences. He originally saw this work as part of abstract surrealism. In 1990 it was aptly named cryptorealism.

Cryptorealism guides the viewer to consider alternative perspectives. Images are often hidden at first glance, making the viewer an active participant in the revelation of meaning.

The renowned German art historian and critic Hanns Theodor Flemming writes: "Cryptorealism is a technique that brings the major movements of contemporary art, realism and abstraction, both from a traditional and contemporary perspective, into an original state of unity with individual identification brings."

Flemming states: "At first glance, Roostaei's paintings give an abstract, tachistic impression, but the longer you look at them, the more you realize that at their core they have a clear meaning and message that is also relevant to the viewers of his paintings creates an exotic visual experience." Flemming believes that "cryptorealism is an art form of enigmatic expression that features realistic motifs from a variety of subjects from ancient times to the present and future."

In his work, Roostaei illustrates the problem of time and transience, the constant metamorphosis of nature and life, as well as his humane message to all fellow human beings.

Boime: "Roostaei paints compositions from eccentric angles and angles and often depicts shapes that transform in the blink of an eye. His works consistently reveal hidden and reversible images that send the viewer on an optical obstacle course. Roostaei's energetic spatial fields literally explode with dense images and Splashes of color and combine a kind of Jackson Pollock approach with the Old Masters and popular images."

By layering images in his paintings, Roostaei constructs multiple perspectives, which he then covers with a veil of exuberant splashes of color, giving his work an energetic and primal effect, which is further enhanced by the fact that he does everything without a brush and only his fingers used to execute his images. Since 1986 he has given up the brush, a method that allows him to connect more intensely with his work.

Prof. Dr. Albert Isaac Boime


Bianca Leon Rodriguez:  Email:


SOURCE: Davood Roostaei


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