Born in Shiraz, Iran, Dr Mohsen Keiany moved to Britain over 15 years ago to established a successful career as an artist and art lecturer. He has exhibited his paintings in more than 60 exhibitions in the United Kingdom and world-wide.
Mohsen’s style, technique and use of materials blend approaches from both East and West. The most important cultural inspiration, however, comes from past and present Persian cultural traditions. References to Persian miniatures, manuscripts, archaeology, history, pottery, music, calligraphy, poetry, ceramic tiles and stained-glass window designs appear in his paintings. They also combine philosophical considerations and Islamic spirituality. Mohsen believes: “My art is my cultural identity. My culture is my dignity and it is my main source of inspiration”.
His work is crowded with people, animals and elements from the natural world. Black outlines, bright colours and the absence of perspective and shadows reflect Persian techniques. The bright colours remind us of tiles and stained-glass windows in Persian architecture. The warm colours represent the sunny climate of Iran. Ancient references are inspired by Mirlic, Seyalc and Lurestan archaeological sites. Recently he has scored poems into the surface of his paintings, which demonstrates his loyalty to Persian poetry.
His art is rhythmic: the observer’s gaze moves from one object to another as it travels to all parts of a painting. The music of Persian instruments combines with the sounds of horses and goats that run across an image.
Mohsen does not sketch plans for his paintings. He begins by creating a textured surface and then meditates in front of the canvas or board. He finds objects in texture: “Everything is there – I do not to search for them. I just see images and take them from the texture. Later I add some more colours or wipe some colour off. A human body, horse, goat, tree, stone and other objects appear.”
Mohsen tries to present spirituality in his paintings. A necessary part of his work is to represent the Creator as the most delicate form of consciousness in the universe. Those who seek spiritual knowledge need to purify themselves so that they can know God.
Mohsen has found art as the best guiding path towards spirituality.
All images (c) Mohsen Keiany