Mehrdad Afsari ©

Shahname | 2008


Re-Pixilization: The PIXEL Revisited
Shahnama (The book of kings) of Shah-Tahmasb (hotan)  928-946 A.H

Digital revolution in photography attributed an inventory of various feedbacks to this extensive medium. Digital technology has virtualized the world thereby helping it experience novelties of forms. Manufacturers of digital cameras maneuvered over precise representation of details and better de-pixilization as an indispensable part of their promotion. To me, however, it meant a visual event that has invariably kept me thinking of its potentials.
The Shahnama (The book of kings) of Shah-Tahmasb (hotan) is one of the eminent artworks of the land of Persia. A dominant feature of Iranian painting is its intuitiveness and subjectivity. The Iranian artist exploits all the gifts of nature; human, plant, soil, and rock. Yet, he never attempts objective reconstruction and visual manifestation. Conversely enough, he discovers, through his mind,  the nature, human and ambience, and interprets the thematic content and finally renders an exclusive representation. Meanwhile, this conceptual image is painted by minute details.
In 2004, for the first time ever an exhibition of such proverbial artworks was held in the Museum for Contemporary Art. When I had my first visit of the sublime Iranian art, what attracted me most was the magnifiers at the ingress to the museum which implied that much of the nuances and graces of the works were not visible to the naked eye: the composition of designs and colors masterfully juxtaposed.
In my perspective, an artist lives in the moment and brings to being, is inspired by the past and his art flows into future. What interested me above all was the contrast engendered by the photographs: the intuitive aspect of paintings was also manifest otherwise in the digital world-the improvisations that worked out in there. How is it that the works whose importance lied in their inherent miniaturized graces and vignettes are now transformed via pixels (a novel visual potential of multilayered meanings) in the digital world. This was in fact a quest of different feedbacks for the past and a revelation of the art of my homeland, Iran.

Mehrdad Afsari 2008