I had the chance to meet Ghass Roozkhosh a former Iran Iraq War Veteran turned Internationally known Modern Art Painter on the set of an Episode of Manoto TV’s “Beh Zendeghyeh Man Khosh Amadeed” aka “Welcome to My Life” which I helped produce.With exclusive insights into his life (both personal and professional), Ghass Roozkhosh proved to be a wonderful and generous host beyond our expectations.
Welcome to My Life: Ghass Roozkhosh
Executive Producers Kayvan and Marjan Abbassi, Produced by Maryam Teherani Directed by Sam Talei, Cameraman Damian Kwasnik, editor Farnaz Davoudi, Online Editor Peter Thompson Part I:
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About Ghass Roozkhosh:
Paris-New York based Iranian painter Ghass addresses contemporary cultural and geopolitical issues through his work. In tackling complex questions, and referring to his personal experiences as a soldier during the devastating Iran-Iraq war, Ghass limits himself to three symbolic colours – red, black and white – and incorporates the picture frame into the painting.
Ghass’s work is about more than method: he has a remarkable ability to take a pre-determined set of conditions, to extract the essence of colour and meaning, and to discard the rest. His powerful, sometimes three-dimensional paintings evoke both fascination and malaise.
Born in Iran in 1964, Ghass has been an artist for 26 years. He was a soldier for two years during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, and his vision of society was transformed by the painful experience of conflict. For the past 16 years, Ghass has used only three colours: red, black and white, unadulterated. The colour the sky takes on after a bombing inspired his use of red, and the charred trees inspired the black. When asked about his paintings, Ghass states, “I don’t do nice paintings. I want to give a voice to those who cannot speak, because suffering belongs to everyone.”
He explores the clash between culture, religion, economy and politics, using recognizable religious images or cultural iconography as his subjects. His paintings return to a forgotten debate within art theory and practice, that of how ethics relate to aesthetics.
Ghass works more than 20 hours per day, always renewing the limits of visual expression.
He manages to convey the transition from war to art and the terrifying echoes of violence through a narrow field of expression.
Besides the pre-determined use of colour, the paintings present other common traits: a rejection of traditional standards of composition and design; and a simultaneously tense yet playful presentation of objects in a primitive manner, which communicate a sense of inner disturbance.Ghass Rouzkhosh’s work has received international critical acclaim, the subject of reviews in numerous publications including Le Monde, the magazine Point de Vue, and on television and radio network Voice of America.
The artist currently lives and works in Paris. His works are held in prestigious private collections in Iran, France, Belgium, America, India, Great-Britain, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and the UAE.
In May 2007, a book dedicated to Ghass’ oeuvre and life was launched with a foreword by Her Majesty the Empress Farah Pahlavi.