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West Van abstract artist lets spontaneity meet canvas
Red, blue, yellow, orange, green, white and black paint is splashed on the cardboard that lines the floor and walls of Nasser Ghaderi’s studio in West Vancouver.
He chooses each colour in the blink of an eye; his paintings are designed spontaneously as they’re created, not planned beforehand.
“I decided to do something original. I didn’t want to copy any artist or technique,” says Ghaderi, who purposely steered away from formal training and studying other artists’ work when he began painting two years ago. Before that, he was a poet and made movies.
Because creating each project is a different experience, he never paints in a series.
“If I do, then I’ll be betraying myself because I’ll be letting myself take over,” he says at his home overlooking the West Van seawall.
Rarely is a brush needed. Each project dictates which tools are used to throw, splash, drizzle and swirl paint on canvas.
Along with other artists who paint without brushes, Ghaderi will be displaying his work at Sans Brush, an exhibit at CityScape Art Space in North Vancouver from Sept. 28 to Oct. 20.
Since Ghaderi began publicly displaying his work in January, he has been in more than 20 exhibits, including four solo shows, and has sold to both local and international buyers, a fact his wife Maryam proudly tells The Outlook as the interview winds up.
Ghaderi, however, isn’t interested in being in the spotlight. Happiness is brought by the creative process, he says, not by selling paintings.
In fact, earlier this year his wife stopped him as he was about to paint over a few of his pieces. Wanting to save room in their house, Ghaderi decided to reuse the canvases instead of using new ones.
“I don’t get attached to my paintings. As soon as I’m done a painting I can let it go. Its life goes with its new owner,” he says, adding that his wife misses his paintings after they’re sold much more than he does.
Many of the original pieces saved by his wife were displayed at his first exhibit at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Van at the beginning of the year, quickly gaining him admirers.
“Out of the blue, we were approached to make prints of them,” his wife says.
By allowing himself to impulsively paint, Ghaderi says each painting is unique. Some paintings use a similar technique, while others are completely different.
“I stay away from saying anything directly. I let whoever looks at it decide. You can see yourself in it like a mirror based on past experiences.”
While carrying his painting outside for a photo with The Outlook, a man stopped him. “Wow, what a great painting,” he said. “I could look at this for hours.”
This man, like everyone else, will decide what he sees in the painting, Ghaderi says.
Asked why he thinks people are eager to purchase his paintings: “You’d have to ask the guys who buy the paintings. I suppose they see something different.”
To see more paintings by Ghaderi, visit his website at nasserghaderi.com.
Go to nvartscouncil.ca for more information about the Sans Brush exhibit. Opening night is on Sept. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.