THE SOUNDS OF WAR
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Ali Banisadr’s backstory is as interesting as his brush skills are proficient. Born in Iran in the 1970s, Ali grew up during the Iran-iraq war. As the war sirens sounded, he would find himself huddled in his basement with nothing more than the sounds and vibrations of the conflict. It was in these traumatic early experiences that Ali began to draw as a way to comprehend and reconcile his mind with the goings on of the time. While such intense early influences would impact any young artist’s work, the effect on Ali was significantly heightened due to him having a rare medical condition called synaesthesia. This is a neurological condition in which the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In Ali’s case, it leads to him quite literally seeing colour when hearing sound and vice versa. This has had an understandably profound influence on his art. Even today, he paints to music and has stated that sound is the foundational layer of all of his works. Music like the Iranian-american composition, Ascending Bird by Siamak Aghel and Colin Jacobsen. This unusual alignment of two, usually separate, senses leads to the work providing a visual representation of the music that inspired its creation. Experiencing his work offers the observer a way to quite literally see music spread out across the canvas.
Ali Banisadr’s work can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum der Moderna in Salzburg, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the British Museum in London.
Contact, 2013, Oil on linen, 82x120 in