Celestial and earthly, east and west, figurative and abstract – worlds collide in the work of Ali Banisadr. The Iranian painter specialises in a kind of ornate chaos where the ruffs and plumes of material finery tumble and swirl into spectral, abstract forms. A refugee of the Iran-Iraq war, his paintings can be seen as an elaborate form of conflict resolution, magicking harmony out of clashes between styles, ideas and cultures.
The vividness is partly accounted for by the synaesthesia he’s experienced since childhood – for him, the harmony is literal. “When I begin a painting, it is always based on an internal sound,” he says. “As soon as I apply the brush, the sound begins, and I am able to compose the work based on the sounds I hear as I’m painting. It is the force that drives the whole painting and helps me compose the work and pull everything together.”
Ali Banisadr: At Once, 11 February – 21 March, Blain Southern, 4 Hanover Square.