Talk with Pouyan Khosrowsereshki
Spontaneous acts are probably the best we can experience. Well, some days back, around the day of 14th in the month of November, after a long day working, and I got home ready to sleep. What happened after was this. A good friend of mine, Bahador came to me asking if we could reschedule a meeting that we were supposed to have earlier that day. It was related to the magazine actually. About an interview that was planned with Pouyan Khosrowsereshki. Pouyan being a painter from Tehran, Iran. Bahador asked me if it would be good if we (by we I mean ME, Bahador, Pouyan and our drinks) will make the interview then. It was 2 o’clock in the morning. Ok. Not too late. So I said we go for it. I wish I could have filmed or at least recorded the whole thing, but it was not possible.
There was a problem, how could we speak? Well some would suggest Skype or Google Hangouts or other Video Chats softs available now, but no. Pouyan decided to call us. Even though he knew it can be expensive (we live in the Netherlands, he lives in Iran). It was crazy. But crazy in the good way. In short the whole thing went like this: I prepared some questions about him, his work, influences, life and so on, Bahador was the intermediate who helped me translate (he was the actual translator of the whole conversation), and Pouyan, the person behind the phone, the person who I never met, the artist that I want to meet.
One of the first things I wanted to find out about Pouyan, was about him, his past experience,, studies and work. I received a really unexpected answer but more than satisfying. I want to quote but it is hard. It sounded like this:
Each moment has a story. Each second, has a story. Why tell you about the past? Why lose my second and my story? I do not want to lose any moment of my life because each has a certain significance to me. Even if I would say something about my past, I would prefer painting it rather than saying or writing.
True. This is true. Why bother with the past, when we have the present we must live? They went on. Bahador translating my question, me scratching my notes in order not to forget anything important. I wanted to find out his view about art, and being an artist. Bahador looked a bit intrigued, probably he asked himself the same question, or wanted to give me his view also.
Art. Art is something different for everyone. Each one of us has a different definition for art. I treat my paintings as my baby, so I also have expectations. I expect my paintings to carry on its responsibilities. People use Wikipedia or other sites where theory or explanation about art pieces are published. Why? Why not first look at the piece with your own eyes? Why not find the meaning by yourself? Reading it from a book, from internet, is not the same as looking at it. You should try me in order to understand. In order to discover and to create I must look and touch. I touch in order to understand, I look in order to see. But why consider only my paintings in this case art? Why don’t take my food, my smoking, my drinking , my “normal” life moments as art?
What if there is no spectator? There will be no art? I am painting since I am a child. Is all I do I never had my own gallery. Suppose no one saw my art? Then I won’t be considered an artist?
I AM ART!
I mention that there are other words spoken also, which may have deviated from the subject but they were completely moving. I was already starting to know what to expect after each question I was asking. Bahador told me: “ Man, trust me, you cannot”. We went on. The fight between honesty and being liked is also sensible issue. Bahador was translating. He went on with a surprising answer:
Let me tell you something:
I am God. And I have as many crowns I want. When I look into the mirror I see the perfect person.
All my hair just felt off me.
I do create. I am a creator. With the power I have, I insist too change the world. I am actually doing it. Either you like it or not, when I paint I enter the real world. I paint the world as it is. I am painting the world.
I had to interrupt him and Bahador because I was not sure what was the meaning of the hair sentence. Then I found out that the saying with the hair is used a lot in their region referring to something really beautiful. He said he was perfect. If he is perfect, I am perfect also. But who is he perfect for? A short break came. Bahador started to laugh. Then he stopped looked at me serious and told me his answer.
I am not perfect. I am God! I am the creation, I create that’s why I am God! When I am alone, everything is perfect, there is no mistake in my loneliness.
I must say I was in a bit of doubt. I tried to understand him. Though on the spot I was not able, my head was thinking, my hands were writing, my mouth was smiling.
You know, a few years back, in Iran happened a big protest against the new line of rulers. It resulted in many deaths, expulsions, inspirations, and destructions.
These events are left to the past. I reflect on them, but they do not influence me. Everyone should be the same.
We laughed again. Because people died? Maybe because we were still alive. Because he was still alive. But tried to come back on the talk. My next problem was related t humanity. Is there any hope? I am that kind of optimist person that thinks that still everything can turn better for us, not now, but soon. Bahador took a big breath looking at me and asking me with his look something like: “ Do you think there is hope for humanity?” and then he started translating.
I agree that humanity can be changed, because humanity can change. The power of the mind.
Don’t start thinking about Star Wars and Yoda.
The creating process for me is important. I know my habbits, or how I get my inspiration and I was curious about his. Are there any gaps in his work. Does he stop, start again, or if he has any rituals that he wishes to share.
Experience is important. Each experience we have is important. I can see influence of paint in life, even if the painting is not showed. I experience the painting of life. I experience life in painting. I go out look around, see, then put it on a canvas. No, no, no. First I draw everything, after I paint it. So there will be also gaps. Why? Because of our best friend. Money.
I get my inspiration from everywhere. From the cavemen that lived centuries ago. Primary painting from the cave of Altamira especially. Also the eastern culture influences me a lot in my work.
What is really important for me is the light. Everything I see is due to the reflection of light in me. Light is my teacher. I use my eyes to understand the surroundings. I have my teacher, I learn and understand with my eyes. Light or dark. Dark is just another type of light.
Once I tried to bend the light. To imagine how the light can bent.
I want to understand how light changes.I see what I see. I see constantly the same oval walls. The walls I see are completely oval. It is my realization. I love what is natural. As much as I love this 27 year old who is completely natural and beautiful. Each image creates another image.
I don’t know if he really knew what I wanted to say. Or it was just coincidence. But in a way his replies always ended with a short connotation for my next question. I was looking at Bahador, he asked me if we should end the interview. I would have talked for more than this. But I could not ask for more. The guy called us from the other part of the world. That is a great gesture. At least for me.
In the end I asked if there is anything more he wishes to share with us.
You did not understand me. The translator does not do his job. The writer does not do his job.
Can you cope with me? Can I cope with the challenge of doing something different? Can you cope with my choices and me?
I receive X, I give Y, You get Z, He gets Y and so on. It is all a circle. A vicious circle.
What I must say is this: Watch the work not the worker!
In the end, what more can I ad?
We were supposed to talk about painting and we ended up making poems. I do not want to write about paintings. I am a painter.
We ended the conversation with some laughs. Telepathically shook hands, had a beer, smoked a cigarette, and the hang the phone.
By Vlad M Ster, Bahador Fatemi